River Bend Bistro
Few visitors arriving at the rustic log setting of the Richibucto River Resort in New Brunswick expect to be served the finest French cuisine by an experienced chef from Paris.
That’s why Chef Francis Hergott and his wife Carole are so thrilled to be able to amaze them from their onsite restaurant, the River Bend Bistro.
Chef Hergott arrived in New Brunswick in 2002 to train the personal chef of the French Consulate General in Moncton. Although he was born and raised and professionally trained in the culinary arts in Paris, he had already fallen in love with Canada thanks to an earlier five-month work stint in Quebec.
His love affair with the country amplified when he also fell in love with a Canadian girl and married her.
Chef Hergott’s education in the techniques of fine French cuisine started when he was just a child in the kitchen of his grandmothers. He learned traditional recipes from them and as a teenager, was the principle cook with his grandmothers for family reunions.
When it came time to select a profession in life, Francis opted to go to Professional School and study hotel management. He later specialized in the “art of the table,” learning all about the restaurant business including cooking and serving.
As a student chef it was necessary for him to continue his training in another country and that prompted him to spend five months at the Chateau Montebello in Quebec.
When he returned to France, it was compulsory for him to join the Military, so he did. He then continued his studies in cooking, working in the heart of Paris and later moving to London, and then back to France.
It was at that time that the French Consulate, who was a cousin of his mother’s, invited him to come to Moncton to train his personal chef. When Francis arrived in Moncton he was impressed with the small city way of life, and in particular, with the warm and friendly people he encountered.
When he completed his work for the French Consulate, he found a job at a French bakery and helped to establish it into a restaurant. Before the year ended, he created his own catering firm with a partner, and they specialized in fine wines and French cooking. They organized many events in Charlottetown, Caraquet, and Edmundston, serving events with 500 to 2000 guests.
Francis considered moving back to France a few times, and he was actually preparing to return when one day he walked into a beauty salon close to his residence and met Carole.
She likes to say: “He met the girl next door, we fell in love, and the rest is history.”
Francis was more impressed with New Brunswick when Carole, who grew up in Saint-Louis-de-Kent, brought him home to meet her family.
“Right away, I loved the space in Kent County,” he said. “And being so close to Moncton it was a pleasure to have a mixture of city and country in such close proximity. I love living close to nature and the changing of the seasons, which you don’t notice so much in a city such as Paris.”
When Francis and Carole decided to start a family, Francis wanted to build a more comfortable lifestyle with a steady salary, so he went to work as Executive Chef for Auberge Gabrielle in Shediac. When the owner purchased Catch 22 in Moncton, Francis became Executive Chef at the new location.
The Hergott family, which now includes their son Liam, fell in love with Kent County all over again and decided to open their own restaurant and the Richibucto River Resort.
Weds 11 AM - 8 PM
Thurs 11 AM - 8 PM
Fri 11 AM - 9 PM
Sat 4 PM - 8 PM
Sun 8 AM - 8 PM Breakfast served 8am-1pm