Chef Olivier has over 30 years’ experience working as a chef following five years intensive study at Strasburg Culinary School. After his time studying as a chef he spent a few years focusing on management so one day he could lead both the kitchen and the business! “It was not long after I started working in France that I felt I needed to get out and explore the world, work somewhere hot,” “I moved to the Caribbean and worked as chef there instead – it was an amazing experience.”
Since then Olivier has always had a taste for hot sun, great food and lively atmospheres. Soon after he settled he opened a restaurant and boutique villa in the Dominican Republic called Eva Luna. “The concept was to chat with the guests and find out what food they don’t like, then serve them a blind degustation menu using as much of that ingredient as I could. I just wanted to show them that you could enjoy that ingredient after all!” Within no time at all, the restaurant was known world over, with well-known food publications publishing reviews and stories about the times they were tricked into eating their least favorite food, and how they often changed their opinion thereafter!
Following a divorce, his ex-wife took over the business and i was free to venture further afield for something new and inspiring. Hopping between Australia & Caribbean and finally arrived in Asia starting by Myanmar with Orient Express on the Road To Mandalay ( cruising ship) then to the Governor Residence in Yangon. After this, I move to Thailand on Samed island working as the Group executive Chef of Samed resort. Then I was tented to challenge myself in Singapore in the wine industry, teaming up with Wine Connection in Singapore. “I opened and managed two outlets, a Tapas bar and a Cheese bistro. “After both became successful in no time at all, it inspired me to build my own wine business in Jakarta. I was the CEO of Food & Wine Corporation, with a number of successful speakeasy themed bars and restaurants around Southeast Asia.
However, despite all of his successes and styles, i missed a cuisine that was too close to his heart to forget. “I had to go back to French food, it’s the food I love to cook the most. My wife suggested we move to Chiang Mai and enjoy a slower paced lifestyle, where we can open our own French restaurant.”
In 2017, we took over Le Bistrot de Chiang Mai from its previous owner. It was lucky that this restaurant was already equipped to be a fully functioning French restaurant, so with a few tweaks, menu creations, and high-end imports of cold cuts and other meats, i transformed this simple French restaurant into a French bistrot, full of flavor, atmosphere and love. “I try to recreate my time at Eva Luna on a small scale here too,” he explained. “I like to talk to my customers, find out what they like – if it’s something that’s a bit different we can play with the menu to make something perfect for them. This is a bistrot after all, not a fancy restaurant. The days of pomp and six sets of cutlery are over, even for the French!”
Le Bistrot de Chiang Mai serves up a range of freshly made cold cuts to French stews, risottos, steaks, fish and vegetarian dishes – many of which are modern recreations of old French classics. The risotto is made with bolet mushrooms (the second most expensive in the world after the truffle) as are the seasonal pasta sauces. Their stews are made using the best French sausage, beans and bacon and the steaks are simple classics, but all served with a twist. We recommend the Tournedos Rossini – a filet of tenderloin served with foie gras and potato puree with truffle or if you are sharing, the Australian Waguy tomahawkor Ribeye steak what have been dry age is always a good choice. Their steaks are so good they even made the Citylife best steak in Chiang Mai list!
Over the next few months, I will be building up the menu, slowly transitioning away from the old restaurant menu and bringing in more of their spectacular creations. “We wanted to keep some of the favourites as some regular customers may miss them if they are gone. But what we are finding now is that the old favourites are being superseded by our own dishes so we are working on even more new dishes over the next few months.”
For those who may have given up on Le Bistrot de Chiang Mai, then now is the perfect time to try it once more, and for those who didn’t know about them in the first place, well now you do and we highly recommend booking a table and tucking into some of the best French food Chiang Mai can offer.
The best place in town! I love eating here.
My favourite restaurant!