Tuesday, January 31, 2017
I opened the cart last week, finally. Maybe "finally" makes it sound melodramatic, perhaps it is, a bit. Though it's only been a few years since I really devoted actual time and effort to bringing this idea to fruition, it feels like it's been a lot longer. Anyway, the cart is open, I'm cooking what I WANT to cook, and it seems that people like it. One of my insecurities was that I was fooling myself with another delusion about giving people something they didn't know they wanted. When I'd tell people I was aiming at fusing real French cuisine with street food, most of the time I'd get the proverbial “deer in the headlights” look as a response. There were the obvious questions: Was I going to do French Fries?, French Toast?, and of course, escargot? As humbly as I know how, and I admit “humble” is not always my strong suit, I explained repeatedly that “French” fries are, in fact, Belgian (God bless them for that fact alone!), French Toast is called Pain Perdu in French and no, I wasn't going to make it, nor will I make escargot... for Now (but Escargot Bourguignon will show up in popper form on my menu eventually!). The other perplexing part for folks was what little they knew of French cuisine, they could imagine coming from Portland's form of taco trucks even less.
Which is why it brought me no small amount of gratification that a fellow cart chef/owner get's what I'm doing. He recognized that I cook my sandwiches en croute when I brought him my Porc Normande sandwich he ordered. He went on to write about my food on his own website: “ It's great to see French food done in an informal setting like this. It's almost become sort of a forgotten cuisine, probably not in New Orleans, but throughout much of the rest of the country there seems to be a reaction against the fact that it held sway over "serious food" for so long. And of course, the irony there is that French cuisine evolved largely out of peasant fare (and, arguably was brought to France by the Medici family of Florence, but that's another discussion). It's time for a populist French revival, and that's what Greg is doing. Awesome”
Yeah, after the schlmazel of the last two-point-five years, I'm feelin' pretty good right about now...