...and Oh la la.... A taste of France, right here in our back yard! La Galette Berrichonne, don't be intimidated by the name... it's truly a gem of the Ozarks.
I met Roland and his wife Elaine when they drove up to the castle we were building, Chateau Charmant... they'd heard that there was a true French castle here in Fordland, but didn't believe it, until they wound up the hill and we came face to face. I have a love of all things French... having spent a year in Paris in my early 20's, especially their food and oh yes, their pastries top my list... My mouth waters just thinking of French delicacies!
So meeting Chef Roland and his wife Elaine, was a dream come true, and a life long friendship... Roland greets regulars always with a big grin, “I love our customers. Talking to them is my favorite.” He makes everyone feel like a long lost friend.
It wasn't long until he opened his Bakery Cafe in Fordland, La Galette Berrichonne where he invents delicious, mouthwatering creations... one of the first things I tried were his Crepes, and they were better than I remembered back in Paris, my second home...
Then there's his Pate Berrichonne with it's pork, savory herbs wrapped in light pastry puff, delicate flavors blended perfectly, just like in his home in the Berry region of France. Each time I go, I try to pick something new... and each time results in a new favorite and his Seafood Salad Vendeenne with fresh scallops & Salmon sautéed with garlic and fresh herbs became my next on the best of Roland!
The thing is there is nothing he does not do well... his Beef en Croute Roasted Beef Tenderloin wrapped in flaky pastry dough, his Beef Bourguignon (boeuf bourguignon) a braised beef stew in burgundy wine, and then there's my husbands favorite his Pork Tenderloin drenched in a creamy lobster sauce...
If you've never traveled to Paris, now is your chance to savor the foods typical of Chef Roland Parny's own special area... the Berry region just south of Paris! The ambiance is a delightful chic country French including local artists showcasing their works along the walls... According to Elaine, “In every French village you will find one or two cafés that are the heart of the village,” she says. “They are meeting places… Life happens in a little village café. Some people arrive here expecting a fancy five-star dining experience, but we’re more like mother’s Sunday cooking,”
He recently released his first French cookbook, "A Taste of Berry" Thumb through it and pick any recipe... then follow the step by step easy instructions... by dinner time you'll be dining on a gourmet meal. I tried the Vol au Vent aux Fruits de Mer ... I was thrilled when it turned out as tender and delicious as the Chef Roland's!
You can take a class with the Chef and learn his special techniques... or just sit and dine, his bakery is open every Friday from 8 AM to 3 PM. His bakery/cafe is open Saturday's 8 AM to 3 PM... Or enjoy a real treat and try the 7 course dinner Sat. nights, but make sure you reserve a place, they fill up fast! He also does In-house catering, or you can hire him for special events, which I have done often... and I've always been pleased with the taste, the presentation, quantities and especially the price!
I love food, and French food has to be on the top of my list. If you want a true French experience take the trip off the beaten path to Fordland and La Galette Berrichonne... don't forget to call to make sure they're open and pick up an extra pastry or two for your ride home...