Vive la France: Brisbane French Festival
July 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Some people may think the French are rude, others might call them frogs, but we know that it’s all based on a niggling feeling of jealousy; the French men with their suave demeanor, and the French women with their effortlessly slight figures. Now it’s the time of year to push aside these feelings and celebrate Bastille Day at the upcoming Brisbane French Festival on Saturday the 16th of July.
Bastille Day commemorates the seizing of the Bastille prison by the people on 14 July 1789, which signified the beginning of the French revolution. This event symbolized the end of the monarchy’s absolute power and oppression, and was chosen as the French National day as a symbol of “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite“. France celebrates the 14th of July each year with parties and parades. The festivities start in Paris on Bastille Day Eve with dancing in the Bastille Square, the place where the fortress once stood, as well as many other places, and there are fireworks at most local villages around Paris. On the day itself, celebrations include a military march up the Champs Elysees accompanied by jets overhead. A fireworks display at night takes place at the Trocadero near the Eiffel Tower. In every village in France the streets are filled with people having fun and plenty of champagne.
In Brisbane the celebrations will include over fifty stalls of French products, including delicious French cuisine such as pastries and other delights from France Gourmet, Academie Culinaire de France, C’est Bon, French Sin, Doudou French Crepes, Europacific Liquor, Coffee Stop, Deliss, La Bastide, La Provence, Monsieur Macaron and Sweet Floz. Other than food, there is also a fashion parade and live music from Sydney based singer-songwriter Emma Hamilton, French – Moroccan band Mazza, along with countless others. If you feel so inclined to come down and partake in the festivities, or a few glasses of bubbly, the festival starts at 9am, ends at 10pm and entry is free.
In the mood for French now? Brisbane has an array of fantastic French themed restaurants to visit including C’est Bon in Woolloongabba, Montrachet Restaurant in Paddington, Bella Époque in Fortitude Valley, Piaf Bar Cafe in South Bank, as well as other restaurants and French patisseries. If you would like to learn about the French culture, Novel Lines stocks a range of books about French cooking, art and history, so come in and have a look. And if you are truly inspired by all things French, then maybe you could try to cook a cheese souffle, which will have all your friends saying ‘oui oui!’
Cheese Souffle (souffle au fromage)
The word souffle is the past participle of the French verb souffler which means to blow or puff up
- 4 +2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 8 ounces grated Comte or Gruyère cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Brush the inside of a large souffle dish with 2 tablespoons of softened butter.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan onto the buttered surface of the dish and gently shake the dish to spread the cheese evenly up the sides.
- In a large saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter.
- Whisk the flour into the melted butter, and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
- Slowly stir the milk into the butter mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens.
- Remove the milk from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg yolks and cheese.
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until the stiff peaks form.
- Stir a few spoons of egg whites into the cheese mixture and gently fold the remaining mix in.
- Pour into the dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 400F (do not open oven before this time).