You could almost say crepes are in Cecile Charrue’s DNA.
Her mother was from Brittany in the north west of France – the place considered the birthplace of crepes – and cooking and eating crepes together was a family ritual.
“As a kid, we had crepes every Sunday at home with my Mum,” said Cecile.
Unlike the thick, sweet American-style pancakes we Aussies are used to, a proper French crepe – like those Cecile’s mum used to make – is thin, generally folded or rolled, and filled with savoury ingredients.
“My favourite is the egg, cheese and ham,” said Cecile, “you crack the egg on top and let the white cook with the heat of the crepe.”
This classic combination is one of several traditional-style savoury crepes Cecile recreates at her mobile crepe stall, Peace, Love and Crepes, at the New Brighton Farmers Market every fortnight.
Others include La Vegan, a combo of organic spinach, tomatoes, local mushrooms, local olives and homemade pesto; and the La Special, with free-range egg, spinach, tomatoes, olive and Nimbin cheese.
Cecile makes her savoury crepe batter the traditional way – with organic buckwheat flour – but has adapted the recipe so that it is vegan as well as gluten free.
And although savoury is Cecile’s personal preference, her menu has plenty for the sweet tooth. Toppings including local honey; homemade local blueberry, raspberry and strawberry jam; homemade chocolate sauce; and the very-French salted butter caramel, hand made by Cecile and 100 percent organic.
Adding to the fun at Cecile’s stall is her open air kitchen, which allows customers to see Cecile at work, and brings an element of theatre to the whole crepe eating experience. Cecile says she loves the face-to-face interaction she can have with her customers – something most chefs in cafes and restaurants miss out on when they’re hidden away in the kitchen.
“I’m serving people… sharing my work and my background. And you get things like ‘oh my god this is so good’ or they come back and tell me. That’s what I enjoy the most.”
• Find Peace Love and Crepes at the New Brighton Farmers Market every fortnight. For more, visit www.peaceloveandcrepes.com