Bernard Perrier, 65 - the front-of-the-house counterpart of his older brother, chef Georges Perrier - died unexpectedly Sunday, Aug. 18 at home in Moorestown. His daughter Carrie Boxer said the cause was heart failure.
Services: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 23 at Weber Funeral Home, 112 Broad St., Riverton.
Bernard, who grew up in Lyon and Saint Nizier, came over in September 1973, shortly after Georges opened Le Bec-Fin on Spruce Street. He cut a towering figure, in vivid contrast to his brother.
"Bernard was surrounded by love throughout the years and returned it tenfold," the family wrote in a tribute. "He was selfless, humble, sharp, sensitive, social and gregarious. He was an excellent conversationalist who loved to exchange thoughts and ideas, particularly about his passions: Egyptology; wine; antiques; food, art and history.
"Bernard would glow when he knew he pleased others. He never expected thanks for his deeds or recognition for his achievements. His laugh was indeed a signature one, most recently frequently heard with his family and close friends (and at times by strangers at the next table and on the other side of the restaurant). He loved nothing more than to host holiday feasts and Sunday dinners to be surrounded by his family. His most famous, never to be forgotten dishes include gratin dauphinois, lobster/ haricots vert salad with truffle vinaigrette, "French Pizza", ratatouille, beaumanierre sauce (to top anything), simplistically unbeatable filet of beef, and salad with Dijon dressing, hearts of palm, eggs and black olives.
"Bernard was an extremely active grandparent who offered to babysit anytime. From the get-go, he would play hide and seek, then cook his famous eggs and basmati rice that no one could ever duplicate. He could spend all day outside with his grandchildren, pushing them in the wheel barrel, catching frogs and feeding his prized koi in the pond.
"He planted hundreds of flowers in the yard and pond. Each plant gifted to him (well over 50) were planted and nurtured in a special place. He would often tour his family and friends around the house, paying homage to the giver and beauty of the plant.
"In summary, to all who loved, respected, understood and appreciated him, Bernard was a gentle soul who loved and gave his heart to the fullest. His warmth will be forever cherished and greatly missed."
Survivors: his wife, Linda; children Jean-Baptiste Perrier, Carrie and John Boxer, Matt and Rebecca Oliver, and Mary Ellen and Craig Angelini; siblings Francoise Durochat, Jean Perrier, Jacques and Francoise Perrier, and Georges Perrier; grandchildren Olivia Grace Boxer, Samuel Oliver Angelini, Michael Oliver Angelini, Tatum Grace Oliver , Lauren Elizabeth Oliver, and Billie Katherine Oliver.