15 Jan Creole Pop up restaurant review
A bit of Reunion in Haslingfield – How time flies! I hadn’t realised, that Corinne’s Creole pop up restaurant was almost 1.5 months ago. I was meaning to write about this lovely evening at the time, but Christmas shopping and preparations took over. Now we have the worst of January over. I don’t like this time of the year as the only thing people seem to be focused on is ‘How to lose weight’. I can’t wait for the radio and TV stop blaring about obese people and diets. We all know what the problem is; we need to do more exercise and eat healthier or as a French guest explained at Corinne’s trial dinner in November, you should ‘deguste‘. This means you should enjoy your food and eat slowly; enjoy every bit you eat. That’s why French women apparently stay slim. Easy or not? Apparently, it is!
Corinne’s pop up restaurant all started in a shop, a lovely farm shop in Haslingfield ‘ Country kitchen‘, where she sells her delicious patisserie and since December her Macarons too. One day she was delivering her goods when somebody stopped her and said ‘You need to cook for me’. As you can imagine, Corinne was completely taken by surprise. They started chatting and from one came the other.
When Ophelia Redpath asked her to run a “Creole Soirée” with her, it was as if a dream came through. I’m sure you have watched the Master chef winner Selina Permallo cook all those delicious recipes from Mauritius, but the food from the island south of Mauritius is quite different. In Mauritius the Indians had a big influence on the cuisine and in Reunion, the French made it their home. Mixing French cuisine with local spices resulted into a very interesting fusion cuisine. Something locals as Corinne know, but I’m sure not many of us do. This was her chance to share her heritage with more people.
Ophelia Redpath is a contemporary figurative fine artist. Her paintings have become highly collectable both in the UK and abroad, even amongst the well-known. Ophelia stands out amongst her British counterparts for her sharp interest in the intricacies of individuality, her explorations of colour and undercurrents of literary wit. She has based many of her paintings on Shakespeare quotations. Ophelia also has illustrated quite a few books, which are all set in Madagascar. Her latest book ‘ The Lemur’s Tale’ is inspired by David Attenborough’s series on Madagascar, her grandmother and grandfather and her daughter Sally. Hence she approached Corinne as she is from this part of the world. I have to say, I’m glad she did as she gave Corinne that push. Corinne spoke to me many times holding a Supper Club, but often you need somebody else to make it happen.
And there we were, making our way to Haslingfield on a dark and grey night, but as soon as we arrived the world lit up. Ophelia’s lovely bright paintings gave that special touch. In one of the back rooms we spotted a very intriguing shadow theatre. Not sure what they used it for though. There were lots of people; 50 people at least. Incredible, this was going to be one of the largest Pop up restaurant ever in Cambridge. Corrine clearly took her culture on board inspired by Ophelia.. Food is a real feast, any occasion is a good excuse for a big party where tones of delicious food is served.
Sunshine in the midwinter it said inside the menu.
This is what Corinne has to say about this…
At this time of year in Reunion, it is summer, mangoes and lychees are falling off the trees, we are getting ready for Christmas. Reunionnais people enjoy their parties, music, lots of food and plenty of Rum always… Tonight, I wanted to capture some of that festive mood and sunshine in my meal.
I hope you enjoy it!
So let’s start with…..
Ti punch maison, bouchons et samoussas créoles – Rum flavoured with plums and slows, wontons and samosas, creole style
Cari poulet, cari de grains, riz, rougail mangue et tomates – Creole chicken, cannelloni beans, plain rice, mango and tomato rougail
Tarte aux fruits de la passion avec une crème vanillée et parfumée au rhum – Passion fruit tart served with a rum and vanilla flavoured cream
Café gourmand créole avec un macaron aux lychee et à la mangue et un petit gateau coco – vanilla coffee served with a lychee and mango macaron and a coconut gateau
Amuse a zot!
The ‘Creole Soiree’ was wonderful. Live music, a magician, Creole food cooked by Corinne and her delicious desserts. She decided to go completely overboard; my favourite coconut cake, Macarons and passion fruit tart. I don’t have a sweet tooth at all, but Corinne always manages to persuade me to have my whole year cake intake at one event. It’s not just about her passion, but it’s the finesse of a French patissier and even more important her heritage. Unfortunately, however much you try, you can’t copy the palate of a local!