Success lies in the Beating!

If you want to ensure your 'crêpes' don't stick to the pan when cooking, 10 minutes of beating the batter with a wooden spoon then adding clarified butter is Isabelle Poff-Pencole's tip.  However the method suggested by Thomas Lucquin was to add beer to the mix. The difference is due to the origins of each chef... 

Thomas is from Alsace, in the east of France and Isabelle from Brittany in the West. Isabelle, national President of the Alliance Francaise and based in Palmerston North, garnered a team of people to help her cooking demonstrations. Every Saturday crêpes are on the menu in Isabelle's family so who better than a local expert to organise the afternoon's event.


French cooking yesterday - Check out more photos on Facebook

Before the tastings began, Sterenne, an interne here with the Alliance Francaise, gave a short talk on Brittany and what visitors can expect in the region. She was the 'person in the know' when it came to the names of the cooking implements used and the expert at spreading toppings on sweet crêpes - an obvious love of hers. 

The chefs between them cooked over 100 crêpes - prompting one audience member to ponder why, if French eat so much how come they're so slim?  Another commented "it's the best way to eat cholesterol". 

Choosing either a savoury galette or sweet crêpe left many people wanting both and there was plenty to sample with a range of different sweet or savoury fillings. Some tried tossing the crêpes, not as easy as it looked.


 An added bonus was the cider on offer for those who wanted to try it - traditionally drunk with crêpes.

As in previous weeks, chairs were in short supply and the audience spilled out into the foyer area. The smells of cooking and noise of laughter drew in visitors who were came for the rugby displays and stayed for the tasting -  three Opunake teenagers, in Palmerston for the day, certainly enjoyed more than one tasty sweet crêpe! 


Saturday 21st April

2.00pm – 3.30pm French community cooking demonstration.

Thursday 26th April 

6.30pm – 9pm A taste of France: An evening of wine tasting & food sampling followed by a closer look at French culture and cuisine.

Bookings essential, call Te Manawa on (06) 3555000 for more information - Charges apply.

Tony Rasmussen, Te Manawa curator and Jacqui Lucquin looking at a precious family handwritten French recipe book from 1906. 

French family cookbook

 French filming at Alexandre Patisserie 5am on Saturday morning!


Exhibition coordinator: Christine Coles - Email: