She did it Again!
As a native Minnesotan, it is no coincidence that many of my French friends are Breton or Bretonne. (From the region of Brittany) We share a reverence for water, and our climates are not for the faint of heart, making us strong - survivors, really. I believe that gives us character (and a bit of stubbornness, but that is a topic for another day!). When I heard about Oh Crêpe! catering, I knew I wanted to meet chef and owner Claire Corvaisier.
When I found out she was a true Bretonne, I knew I would like her! And la cerise sur le gâteau? (The icing on the cake ) She is opening an authentic crêperie inside Minneapolis Cider Co.
Mark your calendars for Monday, October 26th! While you can (and should!) go to Minneapolis Cider Co before then, this is the official Grand Opening of Breizh Crêperie. Because what goes together better than crêpes and cidre?
When Good Things Come Together ...
Minneapolis Cider Co is the collaboration of 3 young men with great vision. It begins with David, who had studied abroad in England. Not a huge fan of beer, he discovered that England is also a large producer of cider, which he loved. When he returned to the states, he and classmate Jason came up with a "cider taproom" concept for a senior project. With the addition of Rob, who had been working in the apple industry, they decided to bring the dream to fruition. They moved into this large warehouse, teaming with character in May 2019. They had plenty of room to make their cider, have space for people to mingle, and add a pickleball court!
The guys made exceptional cider, but there was nothing to accompany it. Sure, they invited the occasional food truck, but like the Reece's peanut butter cup, gold was struck when they met the expat with a passion for crêpes. Brittany has a long history of cidre and crêpes, and Minnesotans have an appreciation for fine food and beverage pairings. Claire would add a perfect balance to an already successful business concept.
Before we get up close and personal with this match made in, well, Brittany, let's find out a bit more about Claire ...
Where are you from in Brittany?
I was born and raised in Fougeres. Every summer, we would spend 2 months in St Malo. These two towns really showcase the beauty of Brittany.
What are your childhood memories involving crêpes?
Growing up, crêpes were a very traditional dish we'd eat at least once a week. We had galettes and crêpes every Friday, then on Saturday we had galette saucisse for lunch, at the Farmer'a market, street-food style, ( always 2 to 3 crêpe food trucks at the market and there's always a line! ). Something we say in Brittany too is "quand il pleut, c'est un temps a faire des crêpes!" and as you may have heard, it rains a lot in Britany! Making crêpes is something I learned, and wanted to learn to make when I was very young. I often woke up extra early before going to school to make crêpes for breakfast. Nobody else wanted to get up early but everybody was happy to eat my crêpes when they woke up! ( I have 5 siblings!) What brought you to the US?
I came to the US the first time in 2004-2005 as an exchange students in high school. I went back to France to study at the university but stayed in touch with this handsome American guy. We were both in college then and traveled back and forth between the 2 countries. After graduating college, I moved to the US and this guy, Cody, eventually became my husband.
Can you explain the difference between galettes and crêpes?
Galettes are the very traditional buckwheat savory crêpes. There are only 2 main ingredients: buckwheat and water. There is so much history behind the buckwheat. Buckwheat is an amazing ingredient! Crêpes are the sweet dessert crêpes; the ingredients in the batter are different: wheat flour, milk and eggs are the main ingredients. Really they are 2 very different products.
Crêpes and galettes are better when made by someone from Brittany! What is your secret??
I think because I grew up eating the traditional galettes and crepes, I know exactly what to expect and what I am looking for in the taste and texture. So even though ingredIents are going to be different because I get them locally in the midwest, I adapted the recipes a little until I got the result I wanted. My secret, not really a secret, I strive to follow the traditions, use no short cuts, and be as authentic as possible.
What is your favorite filling for a galette or crêpe?
That's the hardest question!! Because it depends on my mood, on the season, on the time of the day! That's what's fantastic with galettes and crêpes, you can really have fun with it! But that's probably not the answer you're looking for! So for sweet, I'd say salted caramel, which is another specialty of Brittany. (Wait, or maybe the caramelized pears and dark chocolate). Savory: smoked salmon, creme fraiche, lemon and dill. Simple but flavorful!
Oh Crêpe began in what year?
I started Oh Crêpe in 2018. I do catering: graduation parties, birthdays, corporate events and then I also attend Farmers Markets (although I decided to not do them this summer), Christmas Markets, fairs, festivals etc. I am still doing small private events during Covid but all the big public events have been cancelled. This was a perfect time for me to be able to focus on the opening of the crêperie as I am not as busy.
What prompted this new Crêperie and partnership with Minneapolis Cider Co?
I met with David last year when I was catering a big event in their space. When we met, I told him how excited I was to be able to serve cider with the galettes and crêpes as this is the tradition in Brittany, France. You don't drink wine, you drink a hard cider! He was super interested to know that there was food that paired so well with the cider. Over the past year we worked together on some events at Mpls Cider, and this partnership happened pretty naturally. It was obvious. The pairing is perfect.
A small chef's table event was organized for local media to discover these perfect pairings, and I was fortunate enough to have made the guest list! I'm sorry you can't taste and smell (oh, wait, that is a COVID symptom!) These photos will make your mouth water!
The event kicked off with a Welcome Cocktail, known as "Sunday Sauce" by the staff! Basically a honey cider mimosa - it was refreshing and yet complex as they used the Mango Habanero cider as a base.
PER-FEC-TION! The galette is light and lacy, melting in your mouth. It's truly hard to believe that it is made from just buckwheat flour and water. And the combination of the Brie cheese and honey drizzle - sublime. I practically licked the plate clean! The savory crêpes are accompanied by a small side salad - with homemade vinaigrette, of course!
This galette was paired with the Raspberry Cider. It is semi-dry, slightly acidic with a touch of sweetness. (Raspberry purée is added to the basic cider recipe). Because of the sweetness of the honey in the galette, it is more fruit forward than sweet.
Next up, a more savory galette - filled with prosciutto, emmental cheese, tomatoes, pesto and arugula. This is a meal in itself, and pairs well with the Orchard Blend cider. The Orchard Blend is a semi-dry, classic American-style cider. It is easy to drink as it is a balance of sweetness and tartness. Exactly what you expect from a classic.
There is always room for dessert, right? Claire now turned to her sweet crêpe batter.
Same technique, but very different results! The texture is softer, and more flexible. She is right - a totally different product! And host to an amazing assortment of toppings!
I'm glad I didn't have to choose a dessert crêpe from the menu:
Dark Chocolate Ganache
Calvados Caramelized Apple
Claire had chosen to share her favorite: Caramelized Pear with dark chocolate ganache (fait maison - homemade!). I knew I would love the crêpe, but when David explained that the cider needed to be dry to balance the sweetness of the crêpe, I admit I thought I may not like the Brut Cider. But it was once again, the perfect pairing! There is no residual sugar in the Brut, but it is crisp and fruity, with hints of pear and melon. I would choose this to drink any time!
Before you say au revoir ...
With all of this amazing food and cider, you may just need a minute to digest! Rose Meadow on the Rocks is an excellent digestif. A blend of brandy and cider, it is infused with 12 herbs and botanicals. And it's just pretty to look at!
Smooth, rich and very complex, it is the perfect sip for a 20-minute Minnesota good-bye.
And then there is take-out! I grabbed some 4-packs of the various ciders to share with friends this fall, as well as a bottle of the Rose Meadow for those frosty nights when you need. nice night cap.
Unique and fun, Minneapolis Cider Co and Breizh Crêperie will be my new go to place with family and friends. See you there!
Minneapolis Cider Co
701 SE 9th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Oh Crêpe Catering
Minneapolis, 55419 MN