“When I was training, my friends and I all wanted to travel,” Frederic says. “We vowed to let each other know of opportunities they heard of around the world. I met Patrice Repellin from Koots Salle a Manger who mentioned there was a position going on Hayman Island.”
So, in 1993, Frederic arrived in Australia as head chef at La Fontaine, a fine dining French restaurant on Hayman, where he met, worked and became friends with Oliver Ferretjans, (now Bistro Thierry’s Sommelier). In 1997, he moved to Sydney where he took the role as head chef at Astral Restaurant at Star City and then head chef de cuisine at Jonah’s Restaurant, which won Best European Restaurant of the Year in 1999 as awarded by the Restaurant and Catering Association. Jonah’s also received rave reviews as a gourmet getaway retreat.
In 2001, Frederic came to Melbourne as executive chef at Lynch’s Restaurant, later moving to Watson’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in Carlton and then to Koots Salle a Manger in Kooyong where he worked with his friend, chef, Patrice Repellin. It was a little while later when he received the call from Thierry Cornevin. It was Oliver, who then recommended Frederic to Thierry when Thierry was looking for a chef. Frederic started at Bistro Thierry in October 2009.
Frederic often travels back to France to source new ideas for the menu, mixing the classic with the new. He has been in Australia for 17 years, but his French heart still beats true. He truly feels “at home” at Bistro Thierry as Thierry gives him free reign to run with his ideas. “It feels good. It feels very similar to a bistro in Lyon. It’s a great environment to cook in.”