Behind the red, blue and white awning in South Tweed is a humble little traditional café, 3 Sea Crêpèrie, run by Damien Pigot and his partner Sondrine (Sandy) Mendy.
Damien is from Lesconil, a fishing village in Brittany on the far west coast of France. It’s an area famous for its salt marshes and, not surprisingly, the place where salted caramel was developed in the 1950s. One side of Damien’s family were fishermen, the other side made crêpes for at least five generations.
“My great grandmother, grandmother and mother all made crêpes,” Damien tells us. “I began making crêpes when I was six years old. You know if the mixture is any good when you drink it,” he laughs.
The buckwheat galette Damien makes in his shop dates back 800 years. A fruit seed (not a grain) brought to Europe by the crusaders, buckwheat flourished in the barren soils of Brittany. As buckwheat flour was unsuitable to make bread, it was not taxed by the king! ‘Hurrah!’ said the revolutionary Bretons. Rebellion became tradition, and so galettes have been their basic meal for centuries.
Damien was the first to bring galettes (only ever made from buckwheat) to the Gold Coast region. How fortunate we were to get some of the best galettes possible, Damien having trained in a Michelin star restaurant before coming to Australia. He shares with us his recipe for sweet crêpes used in the 3 Sea café.
500g plain flour
20g buckwheat (optional)
Pinch of salt
1 litre milk
3 eggs, beaten
Mix all dry ingredients together.
Make a well in the middle. Pour in the egg and start mixing while adding the milk slowly. Mix well after each addition to make a smooth thick batter.
Beat very well with a wooden spoon to aerate the batter. Finish by adding the rest of the milk and water.
Let the mixture rest in the fridge for two hours minimum.
Cook at medium heat on a pan greased with butter.
Serve with butter and sugar or roll in jam if crêpes are eaten cold. You can also make a crêpe cake by layering crêpes with cream and chocolate or mango and strawberry.
3 Sea Crêpèrie, 135 Minjungbal Drive, Tweed Heads Ph: 0474 496 709
Open: Mon – Fri 7am – 6pm; Sat 8am – 2.30pm
NOTE: This article was published in The Sun on 5 September 2018.