Ken Veron is owner and proprietor of Café Vermilionville along with his wife, Andrea Veron. Veron is also chair of Eat Lafayette, an annual summertime campaign which supports locally owned restaurants and reminds people to continue to enjoy the restaurants that have made Lafayette, Louisiana the culinary destination that it is today.
In this episode of Discover Lafayette, Ken shares his love of being in the restaurant business, what it is like to be the second-generation proprietor of this renowned culinary treasure, and the importance of supporting Lafayette’s locally owned restaurants through the Eat Lafayette initiative which takes place every summer.
“Café V” is perennially one of Lafayette’s best and most popular restaurants for fine dining. The restaurant has been featured in Southern Living and Saveur magazines, as well as on The Cooking Channel, and is renowned for its French-inspired, Cajun-influenced cuisine which never fails to please both locals and tourists alike.
The original structure of Café Vermilionville was built in 1812 and was called “The Old Vermilionville Inn.” Over the years, it became a working plantation, headquarters for Yankee General CC Washburn in 1863, and eventually, a residence known as “Rickwood” during the 1950’s.
In 1969, the historic building was converted into a restaurant known as Maison Acadienne, a dining establishment, and thereafter in the 1970’s was the site of the popular watering hole Judge Roy Bean’s Saloon owned by Charlie Goodson and Earl Hebert.
In 1981, the property was again refurbished and opened as Cafe Vermilionville by Ken Veron and Charlie Goodson. The property is on the National Register of Historic Places and owned by Ken’s parents, Ken and Mary Veron.
In 2015, Ken and Andrea Veron conducted a full-scale updating of the interior to return to a truer look of the original house. During the interview, Ken discussed living onsite with Andrea for nine days as the restaurant was revitalized and work was conducted. The Verons are truly in love with their restaurant and maintain a hands-on approach, from day to day maintenance to selecting new menu choices and wines to be served. Ensuring a quality dining experience with a warm and welcoming ambience is the focus, each and every day.
As our discussion wound down, we started discussing the perennially favorite dishes that everyone needs to try if they’ve never experienced Cafe V’s delectable menu. Ken shared that for the past thirty years, a crowd favorite has been the crawfish beignets: crawfish tails with the “trinity” of onion, garlic, bell pepper, mixed in with a three blend of cheese and crawfish tails, rolled in flour, fried and served with a creolaise sauce (creole mustard and aioli). And of course, the turtle soup!
Discover Lafayette is proud to shine the light on Café Vermilionville and its owners, Ken and Andrea Veron We want to thank them for providing a rich culinary resource which serves our community during all of our local celebrations, as well as for the many visitors who want to experience a unique Acadiana dining experience!