With baskets full of hand-plucked wild blueberries, Vincent Colombet and his cousins happily crammed into their Alsatian grandmother's tiny kitchen. In that quaint room, equipped with only a wood-burning cast-iron stove, Vincent learned over the years how to tuck berries into pies, prepare meats sourced from neighboring farms, and eventually produce elaborate meals for his entire family.
Driven by his passion for French family-style cuisine, he traveled to Paris before a longing for experiences abroad tugged him across the pond and into the arms of the Windy City in 2004. The following year he opened Cook Au Vin, where he leads three-hour BYOB cooking classes centered on classic techniques and organic ingredients.
Colombet's second culinary venture, Logan Square bakery La Boulangerie, opened in 2010. Open seven days a week, the bakery rolls and bakes its dough daily, churning out fresh loaves every two hours. While snacking on the shop’s creations, guests can sit at cast-iron bistro tables set beneath a chandelier. In late 2012, a second location opened on Belmont Avenue in Lakeview, which, in addition to baguettes and baked pastries, offers gourmet sandwiches on its menu.