Kim Phillips: Local chef Chuck Fremaux says farewell to Denton

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Chuck Fremaux is moving away.

Who is Chuck Fremaux? Kick back and let me tell you about this Cajun fellow turned Dentonite because his story is now a thread in the fabric of Denton’s chronicles.

Originally from Rayne, La., Chuck arrived in Denton from New Orleans with visions of “chefery” marinating in his head. The famous Waco-based Burt’s Burgers chain was expanding and Chuck determined a Burt’s franchise in Denton was the next logical step towards his foodie guru goal. Burt’s opened in 1989 at 905 W. University Drive, where Mi Casita Express is doling out Tex-Mex today. Chuck became part of the Denton consciousness with his comedic “Don’t Call Me Burt” ad campaigns.

Burt’s became Combos and then, in 1999, Chuck made the final giant step into his chefing foray when he opened Fremaux’s Catering, a private, off-site catering venture. After only three years, his consistent cuisine gained such a following that he opened Fremaux’s Metropolitan Catering, where he blended the burgeoning catering business with a venue, full staff and complete on-site event production enterprise. Fremaux’s remained the place for meetings, weddings and parties until June 2012, when Chuck closed up shop to dedicate his time to civic work and pursuit of his sailing passion.

A little insider info is that Chuck is a super chef, really. He loves to cook and people love to eat his creations. So the cooking didn’t stop altogether, and it probably never will. He’s that good. Private dining affairs still find him in the host house kitchen here and there. But most of his time over this past year was invested in the Denton Chamber of Commerce, where he served as chairman of the board of directors after serving as chairman of the Convention & Visitors Bureau Advisory Board for the six years prior.

Not a man given to any effort less than 100 percent, Chuck has been fully engaged in his chamber roles — attending every function with few exceptions and even traveling on his own dime to Austin and Washington, D.C., leading Denton business community delegations before our elected officials. Here in town, when he was not on official chamber assignments, he was at the chamber building, donned in his signature Hawaiian shirts, availing himself to whatever needed attention, from hanging signs and displays on exterior walls to installing new appliances and keeping older ones operating at peak. No job was too big or too small.

In 2004, Chuck made another astute move when he married his wife, Cheryl. Cheryl is one very smart lady and it is her career that is leading the couple to make this next big move in their life to Augusta, Ga., where she was recently promoted to senior director of information technologies with E-Z-Go, a subsidiary company of corporate giant Textron.

One of the best things about Georgia is it puts Chuck half-way closer to his favorite sailboat that stays moored in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Hawaiian shirt, shorts and shades along with libations sporting little umbrellas: That’s likely the most realistic, happy image to treasure of one of our city’s favorite characters as Denton bids Chuck Fremaux bon voyage.

KIM PHILLIPS is vice president of the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau at the Denton Chamber of Commerce. She loves promoting Denton’s original, independent spirit through the city’s sense of place and cast of many characters. She can be reached at kim@discoverdenton.com.

 

 


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