Family. Tradition. Doing It Right.

Family. Tradition. Doing It Right.

Strength sometimes shows up as knowing when to make your move. As the global pandemic of 2019 and the lockdown of 2020 shuttered many small restaurants,

Stéphane Saint Louis and his co-chef Steven Vargas planned an opening. To get there, they invested their stimulus checks in a reeling stock market. This is the business side of Saint Louis. Their return was enough to propel the popup he and Vargas had been operating into today’s brick-and-mortar Table Culture Provisions in downtown Petaluma, fondly known as TCP, is a neighborhood restaurant committed to local suppliers and a seasonally tuned menu.

Saint Louis is purposeful, determined. From the Insitut Paul Bocuse in France he went on to work in some of the world’s best restaurants. Advantaged by his multicultural background and education, he brings that same curiosity and delight in food to the menu he prepares for his guests in Petaluma. Saint Louis finds inspiration in contrasting the simple with the complex. His food is meant for the senses and each course sharpens that focus. A dish does not leave his kitchen until it’s perfectly composed and flavor, texture, and presentation are balanced. His approach has elevated TCP to the forefront of the fine dining Renaissance in Sonoma County. Asked if he considers himself a lucky man, Saint Louis pauses for a long time. “Blessed,” he eventually says. Driven may be the better word.

Years before TCP, before Paris, before Paul Bocuse, when Saint Louis had just graduated from the California Culinary Academy, an early job at a family restaurant opened a window to his future. Young and yet to become fully committed to the industry, he says, “I felt something when I walked into that space.” A vision for a way of life was forming. Home and family remained key as Saint Louis built his career. An army of aunts and cousins in the U.S. and abroad supported him. Sometimes with a tuition check, other times with a couch to sleep on. Eventually, he met his wife Marta at Paul Bocuse. She now runs TCP daily operations. Together, they are making a statement. Saint Louis is proud of building a 100% minority-run infrastructure, from the front of the house to the wine director to his Polish wife who runs the business.

“TCP is elevating its people to positions of influence and leadership within the industry. And we are getting recognition for running a top restaurant; a well-oiled machine.” TCP is widely written up and regularly appears on lists of Top Restaurants.

“Michelin is the ultimate goal,” says Chef Saint Louis.

Crème Brulée By Chef Stephane Saint Louis

Crème Brulée By Chef Stephane Saint Louis

Serving Size: 4 Guests
Time To Prep (mm): 15 MIN
Time To Cook (mm): 90 MIN
Special Kitchen Equipment Required:
Oven – Water Bath – Torch

Technique Tip:
You must treat the volk with thoughtfulness,
authority, and finesse.
Torch the surface of the custard until a thin layer of
caramelized sugar forms.

Swap Option:
It is best to keep this dessert as original as possible.

Why I Love This Recipe:
Besides being my mom’s favorite, I love this classic French
dessert because of its rich and creamy texture, decadent
flavor, and the satisfying crunch of the caramelized sugar
What makes Crème Brulée truly special is the cracks that
satisfyingly break under the pressure of a spoon. This
creates a delightful contrast in textures, with the creamy
custard and crunchy topping combining for a truly indulgent
dessert experience. It is surprisingly easy to make with just a
few simple ingredients and some basic kitchen tools and it is
a great crowd pleaser.

• 1 cup/240 milliliters milk
• 1 cup/240 milliliters heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
• 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise.
• . cup/100 grams plus . cup/50 grams sugar
• 8 egg yolks

Recipe Steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 300 F/130 C.
2. Place ramekins in a large saut. pan or roasting pan and fill
the pan so that the water comes three-quarters of the way
up the edges of the ramekins. Remove the ramekins and
place the pan of water in the oven.
3. Combine the milk, cream, salt, and vanilla bean in a small
saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Remove the pan from the heat and let the vanilla bean steep
for 15 minutes. With a paring knife, scrape the seeds from
the pod into the milk-cream mixture. Combine. 1/2 cup or 100
grams of the sugar and the yolks in a medium bowl and
whisk vigorously for 30 seconds or so (this will help the sugar
begin to dissolve and will also help the egg cook more
4. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the yolks while
whisking continuously.
5. Pour the custard into the ramekins.
6. Cover with a piece of parchment paper followed by foil
and put them in the water bath. Cook the custards until just
set, about 30 to 40 minutes. Uncover them and allow them
to cool.
7. Top each custard with enough of the remaining sugar to
coat the entire surface and pour off the excess. With a
propane torch, heat sugar until it melts, bubbles, and
8. Garnish with your favorite berries


Chef St. Loius is our featured Chef for the 2024 Mascarin Wines Launch Weekend Dinner at Dalya Estate. For more information, or on how to attend, email

*Source Credit:  Article & images provided by Tableculture Provisions