Jim Drohman wants to dispel a myth. “Most people think French food involves a white tablecloth, fancy waiter and things pushed in little rings,” says the Seattle native. Wait – it's not? Nope. According to Drohman, “95% of the food French people eat is simple, heartfelt, traditional country food.” And of course, delicious.
So delicious that Drohman felt compelled to bring it to his native city, opening Le Pichet with his business partner, Joanne Herron, in 2000. Le Pichet is a small, high quality, family-run restaurant serving French country fare in its Pike Place neighborhood. Its success sparked a similar restaurant, Cafe Presse, opened by Drohman and Herron in 2007. Located near Seattle University, it, too, is devoted to the French café concept and has a steady crowd of diners equally enamored with French cuisine.
While one could be overwhelmed running two successful restaurants, Drohman is not. He and Herron stay true to two mandates. One, uphold a French saying: “The rapport must match between price and quality.” Drohman strongly believes his customers are happy when the meal they've purchased is equal in value. In fact, Drohman cites BECU's values as those similar to his own operating philosophy. “It's the rapport between cost and quality,” Drohman says. “Quality is good, costs are low, so what could be better?”
The second mandate is consistency. He and Herron work daily to stay consistent, remaining hands-on in the kitchens and dining rooms, sourcing local food, hiring excellent staff, and limiting their empire to just two establishments.
Le Pichet and Cafe Presse are consistent in their philanthropy, too. The restaurants have been long-time supporters of Dining Out for Life, returning for its 24th year on April 27. Hosted by the Seattle-based non-profit, Lifelong, and sponsored by BECU, participating restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds to individuals facing serious illness and poverty. “It's an easy way for people to support a great cause,” says Drohman. “I hope people get out, grab some friends and have a great time.”
Find the list of participating restaurants – including Le Pichet and Café Presse – here.
Don't forget to post your photos with #DOFLSeattle on social: We'll be out and about, surprising members!