Owners Nicolas and Debbie Devic
At the tender age of 15, Nicolas enrolled in catering school in Souillac, in the south of France, where he acquired the fundamentals of French cooking. Gaining rich experience, he trained all over the country. From the sophistication of the capital, Paris and south-western city of Toulouse, he moved further afield to London and Monaco.
Upon graduating with three highly regarded diplomas, Nicolas worked in Alain Ducasse’s restaurants in glamorous locations such as St Tropez, Monaco and Paris. It was at his final post at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee, Paris, that his expertise rose to new heights. Emboldened, he left the company in 2006 to travel abroad and seek new challenges. Later that year, Nicolas arrived in Cairns, having been offered the position of head chef at C’est Bon.
A few years later, despite loving Cairns, the lifestyle, job and girlfriend Debbie, he was lured to Sydney, but soon realised he had made a huge mistake. Attempts to return to Cairns were foiled by visa restrictions and he was given just a month to leave the country.
Next stop Dubai and an exciting role at the glittering Royal Mirage offering challenges including managing the catering for more than a thousand guests at a time. After three years in Dubai, rising to Number Two position among 140 chefs, Nicolas was finally allowed back to Australia to join Debbie, who had become his wife and the couple’s dream came true in 2011 when they bought C’est Bon.
Today, with Debbie running the office and family, while Nicolas graces the dining room floor welcoming guests and serving, as well as keeping a highly trained eye on all aspects of the business, including the kitchen where he still plays the role of executive chef keeping a close eye on his team’s work.
Over the years, C’est Bon has become one of the city’s best-loved restaurants. Nicolas’ wealth of experience in every aspect of fine dining ensures the establishment continues to strive for perfection and Cairns’ iconic French restaurant is stronger than ever.
Our staff introduce themselves:
Lina Passeti, BEVERAGE
People often remark on the fact I have worked at C’est Bon for such a long time. I always reply, “There is nowhere else in Cairns I would rather work”.
I am a local with an extensive background in hospitality. Over many years I have worked everywhere from the high end, to some very casual establishments, filling many roles in both front and back of house.
My European heritage has instilled a love of food and wine. It is just such a natural part of my life that hospitality was always a very easy fit for me.
I recently completed a wine training called WSET Level 2 allowing me to share that knowledge with the customers and guide them towards the wine they are looking for.
i have been working at C’est bon for the past 10years and met Nicolas when he first moved in, in 2006 as a head chef for c’est bon. today, i am proud to be part of his team and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.
Raphael Granado, Restaurant manager
Growing up in Brazil, working in a French restaurant wasn’t the obvious outcome. But after being involved in the service, retail and hospitality industry for the past 10 years, I had developed a strong sense of customer service, so looking after our guests became a second nature for me, which prove to be crucial when I got a chance to work at C’est Bon back in 2016.
My friendly nature and attention to details allows me to fit perfectly in this almost fully French environment. When I actually get asked what am I doing here working in a French restaurant? my answer is always the same: It just feels right for me to be here! Being Brazilian only enhance that cliché French charm!
What I love at C’est bon is the balance of quality service while facing that exhilaration thrill during rush hours.
Being very competitive in Sports, I find a similar challenge on football pitch & dining room.
I am aspiring to become a hardworking team leader in that beautiful restaurant and contribute in its ever growing success
To achieve this, I am leaning on Nicolas’ experience to reach that goal.
All that matter in the end is our Customer’s satisfaction.
Daniel Peters, Executive Chef
“Chef” is the word that describes me best. It’s my passion, my career and it’s my way of life. When I’m not in the kitchen though, you’ll probably find me at the gym, playing golf or testing my endurance somewhere in the hills around Cairns on my mountain bike! I place a high premium on fitness: it keeps me alert and helps me thrive in the kitchen.
My name is Daniel Peters and since January 2018 I have been working as Head Chef at C’est Bon; a busy and highly regarded French Restaurant in Cairns. It’s been a great experience and has provided me with the opportunity to examine and hone my skills in traditional French cuisine whilst having the freedom to give it a modern flair – something I love to “play” with. I like to be creative and to provide flavours that are unique to the palate, while still providing a meal.
2004 was the first step for me in my culinary journey. I started out in a school based apprenticeship at the age of 17 and I haven’t looked back since! My years of personal growth and self-improvement have been guided by some remarkable people and they have helped me progress to where I am now.
My culinary repertoire began to develop in Cairns, firstly as an apprentice in the kitchens of the Mecure Harbourside and then the Rimmini Italian Restaurant. I finished the final 6 months of my apprenticeship at the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino where I was promoted to Commis Chef. I continued to work there in a variety of sections and outlets including fine dining, breakfast, room service, banquet and pastry, for a further 3 years. My next promotion was to Sous Chef in Townsville’s well known Jam Restaurant. I then took up the position of Sous Chef at the Watermark Restaurant after which I was pleased to accept the offer of the position of Head Chef at Seasoned Restaurant, also in Townsville. I gained a vast amount of knowledge regarding recipe and menu development in this busy restaurant and that has stood me in good stead to take on my current position at C’est Bon.
The kitchen is where I have been for 15 years now, and it as an ever evolving and changing environment. The possibilities in the industry are continually growing and they provide chefs such as me with the challenge of keeping abreast of and constantly adapting skills to suit the demands of the industry.
To challenge myself, I particularly enjoy operating outside of my comfort zone. The 19 year old me decided to enter my first culinary competition and since then my interest in bettering myself through this platform has snowballed. Competitions have motivated me to continually think about food ideas. They have also made me critique myself – never in a negative way, but in a fashion that has seen me respond to constructive criticism and progress my skill repertoire.
Throughout the last 10 years I have put myself out there and I’ve competed in a wide variety of competitions with some great scores and achievements; I was particularly pleased for both myself and my mentors when I was named ACF Australian Chef of The Year in Canberra , 2013. With each competition there has been a new personal goal – simply to better myself. To this end, I have constantly taken on board new skills and I have incorporated them into a standard working day. Cleanliness and organisation are at the top of my list, followed by quick thinking and the ability to adapt to the workplace or fellow employees’ needs.
I am a calm person by nature with a sense of humour and a very positive attitude towards the industry itself and to life in general. I thrive in a collegial environment and working in various teams over the years has helped me hone my communication skills as well as my leadership abilities.
I am confident that the achievements and skills that I’ve gained during the course of my career to date, have assisted me to contribute positively to the culinary industry and showcase what I am as a chef. I am still eager however, to see where the ever changing ways of the industry will take me.