Houston is considered to have one of the best culinary scenes in the country, with cuisine from around the world. With more than 10,000 restaurants in the Houston area, the options can feel overwhelming at times.

That's why foodies may find it helpful knowing Étoile Cuisine et Bar Chef/Owner Philippe Verpiand has been named a Master Chef of France, becoming one of only three chefs in Texas ever to receive the prestigious honor.

The Master Chefs of France (Maître Cuisinier de France) is the oldest culinary association in the world, established in 1951. Today, its nearly 500 members are located in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and South America.

Verpiand brings culinary experience earned at the French Culinary Institute in Avignon and seven Michelin-starred restaurants in France to his latest venture here in Houston, where he opened Etoile in 2011.

Etoile Cuisine et Bar offers traditional and modern interpretations on French cuisine in its beautiful farmhouse-inspired space in Uptown Park. The menu brings the classics of French cuisine such as duck leg confit, beef bordelaise and braised short ribs. A fan favorite is the escargot Bourguignonne for an appetizer and the cassoulet made in traditional fashion with pork, sausage and duck. The wild boar Bolognese is a popular selection from the lunch menu.

Verpiand and Sugar Land's Perrier are among nine chefs being inducted into the society this year on March 16 in Biarritz, France. There they will be joining Gérald Hirigoyen (Restaurant Piperade, San Francisco), Sylvain Portay (Sylvain Portay Restaurant Management, New York), Patrick Albert (Restaurant Remy & Disney Cruise Line, Florida), Thomas Bellec (Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, Calif.), Yann Chupin (Ritz Carlton Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, Ga.), Stéphane Modat (Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec) and Baptiste Peupion (Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec).