The face of Eat Me since he opened the restaurant with sister Cherie in 1998, proprietor and co-founder Darren can often be found greeting diners, dropping by tables to catch up with regulars, and sharing Bangkok tips with visitors to the Thai capital.
Before the siblings opened Eat Me, Australian-born Darren had been travelling in Thailand and had plans to explore more of Asia after leaving a job teaching English in Japan.
Having grown up in South Australia’s Barossa Valley wine region, a centre of gastronomy, and worked in restaurants and bars, Darren and Cherie had toyed with the idea of starting an eatery back home when they stumbled across a cool Bangkok joint that caught their attention and captured their imagination. Soon after, Eat Me was born.
When Darren’s not collaborating with Chef Tim and Cherie on the cuisine and dreaming up improvements to the space with Eat Me’s designer Kelly Wheatley, he can generally be found cycling, clubbing, travelling, and of course, eating.
Darren’s sister and co-founder Cherie was Eat Me’s first culinary director, working closely with early chefs to develop a cuisine that was modern and global yet influenced by food trends in Australia at the time.
Cherie was dividing her time between Sydney and Bangkok and between freelance food styling, writing and blogging, when she decided the best way to add balance to her food-filled life was to add an organic vegetable garden and some chickens into the mix.
So she made a ‘tea change’ and returned to her birthplace, the Barossa Valley, to start the tea company Scullery Made and renovate a 160 year-old bluestone farmhouse.
When Cherie is not designing menus and contributing to food magazines and the occasional television show, she is growing and sourcing seasonal fruits and herbs to hand blend for her tea range.
Dedicated to the experience of good food in its entirety, Cherie believes there are very few things in life that can’t be helped by a proper cup of tea.
Born in Portland, Maine, Chef Tim Butler lived in New York City and Southern California before moving to Bangkok in 2009 and joining Eat Me in 2010 as executive chef, where he evolved the cuisine into the modern, Asian-influenced, international comfort food that has won the restaurant awards.
Chef Tim’s industry experiences goes way back to his first job as a fourteen year-old as a dishwasher in a small Italian restaurant. A 1998 graduate of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America, Tim was made executive pastry chef of Aquavit in New York City under Chef Marcus Sammuelson at the ripe old age of 21, and in 2007 was named New York Rising Star Chef.
Highlights of Chef Tim’s career include opening the acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant Providence with Chef Michael Cimarusti, working as pastry chef at Bernardus Lodge in his hometown Carmel, and working at Restaurant Daniel under Chef Daniel Bouloud in New York.
Tim has been a chocolatier, written recipes for countless cookbooks, ran his own catering company, and continues to provide restaurant consultancy services when he’s not in the kitchen at Eat Me.