Perillat, Gabriel

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Gabriel Perillat was born on April 17, 1931, in the village of Marignier, Haute Savoie, France, where his family ran a cafe and survived the Depression and World War II. Gabriel served as a corporal with the 7th Battalion of the Chasseurs Alpins (elite mountain troops) from 1951 to 1953, receiving medals for sharpshooting and skiing.

Gabriel then worked at La Pyramide and L’Auberge du Pere Bise, Michelin Guide three-star restaurants. He ventured on to restaurants in London and Stockholm before emigrating to the United States in 1958 and becoming a proud American citizen. At La Cremaillere Restaurant in Westchester, N.Y., he worked his way up to Maitre d’. There he met Nettie (Niki) Pierce whom he married in 1960. Gabriel owned three restaurants, The Gaslight (Greenwich, Conn.), Le Chalet (Thomaston, Conn.), and La Bagatelle (Greenwich, Conn.).

After falling in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains, Gabriel and Niki retired to Floyd, Va., in 1994. Gabriel loved reading, gardening, and mushroom hunting. He was a bon vivant and gracious host to all who knew him. He died on July 15, 2011, after spending a sunny Bastille day outdoors with his family. He is survived by his beloved wife, Niki; his son, Paul; daughter, Danielle; and grandsons, Brian and Zachary.

A service will be held from 4 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2011, at All Saints Catholic Church, 598 Needmore Lane, NE, Floyd, Va. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library, the Floyd Artists Association, or to the Humane Society. Arrangements by Gardner Funeral Home, 540-745-2007.