There is an unfortunate tendency for people to equate “cook” with “chef”. Sure, both of them cook food. Both of them wear white tunics and something on their heads – but that is about where the similarity starts and ends.
This was really brought home at the Pullman Pattaya Hotel G when French chef Herve Frerand took over the Beach Club restaurant to allow selected members of the press to experience his French cuisine.
(L to R) Nannadda Supakdhanasombat, director of MarCom Pullman Pattaya Hotel G; French chef Herve Frerand; Thierry Danzas; and Marie Gonter events & marketing director, Pullman Pattaya Hotel G;
Herve is very French, despite living in Thailand for the past 16 years, and is also very innovative, being an advisor to the Royal Project Foundation in the north, and able to select the freshest vegetables for his creations.
French chef Herve Frerand “is brilliant, simply amazing”.
He describes his cooking as being very simple, though the preparation for some of his dishes calls for slow cooking for 24 hours! Herve says that this preserves the molecular make-up of meat, for example, keeping in both the nutrients and the flavor.
Chef Herve has a star-studded CV having cooked for such notables as the Thai Royal Family, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, French President François Mitterrand and various other celebrities around the world.
Sophon Vongchatchainont, general manager of Pullman Pattaya Hotel G
Despite not being celebrities, Chef Herve treated us as if we were and we enjoyed a great culinary treat from someone who is demonstrably on top of his profession.
The first course was an Encornet with pork belly and chorizo, marinated bell pepper and Espelette tomato syrup. Chef Herve had told me that the first course was squid, that rubbery sea animal that I am not particularly fond of. But then I had never experienced squid done like this – the body is used, not the tentacles, and filled with the chorizo and pork with the bell pepper and tomato syrup accompaniment. Quite frankly, this was simply sensational and we enjoyed this course with a very refreshing South African Cape Zebra Chenin Blanc.
The second course was equally as amazing – a pan-seared Dover sole (Chef Herve told me the taste of seafood from colder waters is so much better), served with the backbone as a feature, with a side dish of slow cooked duck egg, with a white asparagus puree, Espuma mustard and a crispy baguette. Taken with an Australian Stable Hill Chardonnay this was another tour de force!
The next course was another excellent one with a plancha of beef short loin, another 24 hour cooking with ratte potato puree and red wine jus. The wine to go with this was a Colombelle, Cotes de Gascogne, France. Again a good pairing.
There was no doubt in anyone’s minds as to the talent demonstrated by Chef Herve, and mentioning him to one of Pattaya’s top restaurateurs brought the immediate response, “Herve, he is brilliant, simply amazing.”
My thanks to the Pullman Pattaya Hotel G. You and Chef Herve have shown that there is an enormous difference between a cook and a chef.