Jean Lafont is still today one of Dallas most recognized culinary heroes. Jean Lafont was one of the pioneers of introducing French Cuisine to a young and booming city in the 70s. There are plenty of articles written to discover how much impact Jean had on the dining world of Dallas. Not enough words available to describe.
“In the early 70s, Jean LaFont worked at the Rainbow Room in New York and Ernie’s in San Francisco prior to coming to Dallas to oversee restaurants that included Arthur’s, Old Warsaw, Les Saisons, and Mario’s. LaFont eventually moved to the Pyramid Room of the Fairmont Hotel and never-to-be-forgotten Oz in 1974. Until late 2011, LaFont continued to cook, consult, or both with many restaurants.”
Besides being one of the finest and most influential chefs in Dallas he was also an exceptional Petanque player. 40 years ago he brought with him several sets of Petanque boules (some from his grand-father) to initiate his workers and play with his friends. The Petanque group of Dallas played at various locations around Dallas and a group of friends kept the game alive over the years.
In May 2011, the City of Farmers Branch Park and Recreation built a large Petanque court with lights and benches under the tree shade. Having for the first time a devoted place to play, the Dallas Petanque Club was founded with the Federation of Petanque of USA in September 2011 with 12 members. The Club lost his dear member Jean LaFont early 2012 but a LaFont Memorial Petanque Tournament will remain.
On May 6, 2012 the first LaFont Memorial Petanque Tournament was held with 11 teams of doubles in Farmers Branch, TX. We were honored by the presence of several players from San Antonio, TX and Austin, TX.”
Since 2012 the LaFont Memorial Petanque tournament has grown and keeps growing. It takes place the first Sunday of May, although 2017 will be on April 30th, 2017. We hope you join us as a participant or spectator.