ON THE MENU for a French Summer Brunch
Kir Royale, Homemade tea,
Rosemary water, Orange juice
Warm Goat Cheese Salad
Black and White Bean Soup
Buttery Croissants & French Baguettes
Assortment of French Cheeses
Da Berry Fresh Market Jelly
What makes a meal French? In south Louisiana that could be a trick question. With the French culture so embedded in homes and families dating back to the 1700s, or earlier, it is no longer easy to tell what authentic cooking from France is all about. Two college students, Lola DuBois and Charlotte Pringot, visiting from France and interning with Envision da Berry joined a native from France, Agnes Cappello, who spent 20 years in New Iberia before moving to other parts of Acadiana. Their love of French cooking came together for a fundraising meal combining both countries. Meeting the cooks and the stragglers still lingering with Kir Royales at Phanat Xanamane’s home garden next to the community garden, brought a new appreciation for the customs of France. The college students both shared and learned things from Chef Agnes Cappello before and at Saturday’s event. The following comments, unless noted, are from Charlotte Pringot, a university student studying business.
Are you here just for the summer?
— I have been here two months and will go home 25 June. I love cooking during my free time and I’ve learned so much from Chef Agnes the last two days. It was a rush. We had so many things to do in the kitchen I didn’t think we’d make it, but we did.
What have you found here that is different than in France?
We don’t have the same ingredients, not the same vegetables. Also, it was very hard to find good cheeses, French cheeses are very different than American cheeses. A Spot For Tea donated the cheeses for us and they were really like French cheeses. It’s really, really good. We eat that all the time in France, and it was a little bit like being at home. Your cheeses are more used to be melted. In France we like to eat it as a tradition.
Was anything similar, like being home?
Yeah, since we cooked French, it was like being at home. If we had cooked American, it would not have been. We have the quiches so it was pretty much like we were home. We did a lot of prep, cutting things, but Agnes did the rest, making the sauces.
Were the two of you friends in France before you came to New Iberia?
Yes, we go to the same university in Aermont Ferrand, so we had met, but now we are closer friends.
What was your favorite thing served today?
I really liked the quiche because it has been a long time since I ate one. I really love it. I also like the clafoutis (similar to a cobbler, Chef Agnes said). It is usually made with cherries but this is the first time I had it with blueberries and it is very good.
What is a Kir Royale?
— Chef Agnes Cappello explains.
The Kir Royale is made with Créme de Cassis which is a black currant liquor, a natural food flavor. You put a little bit in the glass and top it with champagne. It is a French cocktail invented by a monk in the 18th century.
How did you get connected?
— Chef Agnes Cappello explains.
Phanat Xanamane introduced us early on, I’ve been going to a few events and he said he had these interns and it was right up my alley. I thought the project was amazing. We collaborated on the menu. The girls wanted to do something authentic French. We needed something with egg, naturally the quiche Lorraine was the perfect thing.
Event Sponsored by
Alex Malay, A Spot For Tea, Tabasco, Desserts to Go Cake Shop, Red Barn Nursery, Dory Thomassie, Wat Thammarattanaram and Elizabeth Little