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Toulouse Announces Impressive Chef Hire For First Houston Location

The "French Cowboy" has a new home.

Toulouse's Dallas' location boasts a cozy patio.
Toulouse's Dallas' location boasts a cozy patio.
Amy McCarthy is a reporter at, focusing on pop culture, policy and labor, and only the weirdest online trends.

The arrival of Toulouse, the casual French concept from Dallas-based Lombardi Family Concepts, comes not a moment too soon for steak frites enthusiasts. The concept is slated to open later this month in the River Oaks district, and in the meantime, you can get excited about the thoroughly French chef that will be leading the kitchen at Toulouse.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Houston’s own Philippe Schmit, known by many as "the French Cowboy," has accepted the position of executive chef at Toulouse. Schmit is most well-known for his time at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge, a concept that he opened in 2011 to rave reviews. Schmit left the restaurant in 2013, several months before its closure a year later. In the meantime, Schmit has been operating his own catering, consulting, and private chef business.

The menu for Toulouse, which has been open in Dallas for more than ten years, is pretty standard traditional French fare – beignets, bouillabaisse, and steak frites – but Schmit will incorporate his own classic training into the menu for the Houston outpost. He’s currently working with Lombardi executive chef Renato di Pirro to finalize the menu.

The coming weeks are a busy time for the River Oaks District. Once Toulouse opens its doors on March 23, Taverna, an Italian concept from Lombardi, will open in mid-April. Later, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Le Colonial, Steak 48, and The Porch (also a Dallas export) will round out River Oaks’ rapidly growing restaurant scene.