Thailand - Hervé Frerard

Bailliage of Bangkok Rattanakosin, Thailand
Bangkok, May 6, 2024

Renowned Chef at Brasserie 9
" Chef Hervé .. may be that rarest thing in Bangkok: a Chef/Restaurateur who lasts "

Growing up in a Burgundian farming family, organizations like the Chaîne were far from Chef Hervé Frerard’s mind. “There were so many other things to think about,” he says matter-of-factly at his latest restaurant, Brasserie 9, with its cool, hushed air and polished marble.

Chef Hervé remembers a difficult introduction to his culinary career. “I hated cooking because I was forced to do it. I didn’t think I had the talent.” Years later, having left France, Chef Hervé was inspired to truly cook, fuelled by the curiosity that accompanies travelling. “My mother was a dreamer,” he explained. “She never had a chance to travel before. Now she does, because of me.”

In a city generously studded with eateries manned by ambitious chefs, Chef Hervé, now 54, may be that rarest thing in Bangkok: a Chef/Restaurateur who lasts. Fads dissipate into thin air, as do infatuations with various cuisines.

Demand remains steadfast for well-executed, flavourful, unpretentious French food “made with love” as Chef Hervé would say. It’s his calling card on display throughout his long career in Asia: Japan; pioneering Bangkok restaurant Le Beaulieu; Taipei and Singapore. Now at Brasserie 9 it is a long-awaited return to a Bangkok kitchen.

The brasserie has retained a loyal coterie of customers - elegant, well-educated, of a certain age - drawn by the kitchen’s glossy sauces, unabashedly creamy pommes dauphinoise, dainty salads and briny, fresh oysters.

Chef Hervé stays on his toes. Marketing “is a big issue,” with “too much money often spent doing the wrong kind, i.e. on Facebook and Instagram. Social media influencers make a big splash in the culinary realm. Non-industry people claiming expertise to gain large followings.”

Organizations like the Chaîne have developed a renewed importance in Bangkok’s dining scene and worldwide. Hervé remembers being approached to join the Bailliage in Bangkok and feeling apprehensive: “To begin with I said no because I saw all these beautiful people with their black ties and fine gowns. It’s not my scene.”

The first thing that came to mind when told he would receive his ribbon at a glamourous Induction Ceremony at the prestigious Mandarin Oriental was what to wear. He recalls thinking, “Goodness, I’ll have to go find a tailor to make a suit!”

Chef Hervé, like his fellow professional inductees, ended up donning traditional chef’s whites. The most appropriate outfit to wear as a kitchen-based Professional member. What really counted for him was the Chaîne’s ultimate goal: recognizing and attracting notice for talented chefs of every cuisine. “Supporting chefs is important,” he agrees. “I think they are a good group here. Chef Arnaud [Ed. Arnaud Dunand Sauthier, of Michelin 2-star Maison Dunand] and I were honoured to be involved.”

Lunch service over, Chef Hervé returns to his kitchen before the evening rush. Plans to change menus showcasing quality local ingredients, like organically farmed frogs for his famed, garlicky cuisses de grenouille. Station Chefs to oversee; hands to shake.

To continue exploring, always learning. “I like to see chefs outside their comfort zone,” says Chef Hervé. “Becoming really creative, really curious. Routine is the killer.”

Chawadee Nualkhair
Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique
Bailliage of Bangkok Rattanakosin

Brasserie 9
27 Soi Sathon 6
Bang Rak
Bangkok 10500

Tel: +66 2 234 2588

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