Chef Gerard Billebault of Bonjour prepares Buche de Noel cake the same way his own father did in Paris, decades ago. (Christina Tkacik/Baltimore Sun)

Chef Gerard Billebault of Bonjour prepares Buche de Noel cake the same way his own father did in Paris, decades ago. (Christina Tkacik/Baltimore Sun)

Chef Gerard Billebault of Bonjour prepares Buche de Noel cake the same way his own father did in Paris, decades ago. (Christina Tkacik/Baltimore Sun)

Chef Gerard Billebault of Bonjour prepares Buche de Noel cake the same way his own father did in Paris, decades ago. (Christina Tkacik/Baltimore Sun)

A little bit of france on Falls road

In 1998,  a charming little house on Falls Road that had once been  a fruit and vegetable stand became available, and I immediately felt that this wonderful old purple house would be the perfect place to open a French-inspired bakery and cafe.  Promising my husband, Chef Gerard Billebault, that it would only be a temporary "open just for the holidays" venture, he reluctantly said, "oui."

For more than 19 years, Gerard and I have worked with a wonderful staff to establish at Bonjour a tradition of providing fine French pastries, desserts, sweets and savories, as well as freshly roasted coffees and teas. Along the way we have made wonderful friends and become part of the fabric of our Mt. Washington community. 

Bon Apetite and Merci Beaucoup!

Gayle Brier-Billebault

 

 

Baltimoreans don’t need a plane ticket to find a traditional, French Bûche de Noël. At Bonjour Bakery Cafe on Falls Road, Gerard Billebault and his sister Martine are busy preparing Yule log-shaped cakes in the same manner they learned from their Parisian father decades ago.

Stand in line at any bakery in Paris this time of year and while the cashier rings up your baguette order, the eyes inevitably wander up to the Bûche de Noël in the display case, an elaborate dollhouse explosion of holiday cheer on a plate.

In France, “Every family has a Bûche de Noël for Christmas,” says Martine Billebault, 70. She arrived just yesterday from her home in Paris, and already helping her brother in his bakery, Bonjour on Falls Road.

Read Christina Tkacik's blog with accompanying photos.