Chef's Profile,  Haitian Heritage Month,  Spring 2021

Chef Charly Pierre

Chef Charly Pierre’s Bio

Owner of Fritay Restaurant, Bar & Lounge

Charly Pierre has always aspired to be a chef since he could remember. Growing up in an abundance of culture, Cambridge, Massachusetts helped manifest a broad aww palette when it came to cooking. This was also well represented in his household. His father was a skilled chef who was trained and worked for the Marriott Hotel Group. While his mother loved to cook Haitian dishes deeply rooted in the family’s past. As a result of this combination, Charly has always been interested in diving deeper into both these routes.

At the age of five, Charly had started cooking. Burning his first grilled cheese, he had begun his culinary venture. Charly loved cooking beside his parents and also visiting neighbors’ kitchens with Portuguese and Central American backgrounds. Charly went to high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, where his major was Culinary Arts. During this time he acquired his first job at the local Italian Restaurant, “East Side bar and Grille.” Attending class and cooking at night, helped hone-in on his hard-working mentality. By the time Charly graduated high school, he had already ran the line at his restaurant and received a scholarship to Southern New Hampshire University. During a state-wide cooking competition Charly was awarded 2nd place and received a “half-ride” scholarship.

 During his first years in college, Charly worked at the East Side Bar and Grille on weekends, traveling back and forth to work the brunch shift. Then he found a line cook position at the “Bedford Village Inn” in Bedford NH. Where he worked up the line for 2 years crafting his fine dining skills. During this time Charly to his first of many trips to New Orleans. This one was for a chef’s conference. He immediately fell in love.
After graduating with a Bachelor in Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts, and also working full-time at the B.V.I Charly had felt he had learned an immense amount in the kitchen. He decided to move back to Boston and learn the front-of-the-house operations. The five-star restaurant “L’espalier” located in the heart of the city was where he began to serve. Chef Mcclelland’s strict and rigorous wine and cheese program opened a whole new world for him.

After 2 years at L’espalier, Charly left to manage at The Aquitaine restaurant. He spent a year managing, and left to return to serving. He arrived at Area Four in Cambridge, as a morning server looking for a fine dining establishment at night. There he found his girlfriend and business partner Minerva Chereches. Minerva and the rest of the amazing staff reflected the comradely aspects of a well run business. At night Charly worked at “Journeyman.” This was a 18 seat, fine restaurant, which only served 9 course tastings. By this time Charly’s aspirations were completely focused on moving to New Orleans. They knew that they wanted a big change that would involve working less. To which they did not.

In the fall of 2015 Minerva and Charly moved together to New Orleans, LA. Once they got to NOLA both acquired their first jobs in the at Sucre in French quarter. They both left Sucre and  both were hired for a morning and night gig; Green Goddess & Meauxbar for Minerva, Angeline and Bayona were Charly’s gigs. Realizing they were not relaxing or working less as they intended, they decided to go on their own venture.

The Fritai stall at the Saint Roch Market was an amazing start. They began cooking the cultural roots of Charly’s Haitian past, while adding some twisted dishes to fixate on the local people. At the market they learned from 13 different business owners the logistics and models of ownership. This pushed our success toward inevitability. While at the market Minerva and Charly created a name for themselves. They held fundraisers for Haiti, received Zagat’s 30 under 30, Eater’s National Young-guns, and were on numerous T.V appearances including Charly’s winning Food Network’s Chopped. From this point Charly’s fine tuned his skills and has prepared himself for the next big venture. 
Fritai at Basin is the latest concept by the Fritai group and it is Charly’s heart and dream establishment. With craft Caribbean cocktails and fine Haitian cuisine the location is assured to be a success. He is constantly creating and adding to the colorful picture of New Orleans. While focusing on his history and the people of New Orleans who helped become who he is today.

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