Cecile Cherrue, crepe maker extraordinaire, cannot conceive of any other lifestyle that would give her the satisfaction she has now. There she is, expertly flipping her paper-thin crepes with a spatula, folding them over, serene and smiling, in an impeccably organised market space, doing what she’s been so enjoyably doing for the past ten years.
And yet it all came about by chance. Living in Sydney, she’d been told by Far North Coast friends that she ‘totally belonged here’, so in 2012 she made the move. Volunteering at the local community gardens, she started making crepes for a festival, using only organic and local ingredients, and loved it so much she decided to carry on. ‘I started with nothing’, she tells me, ‘a camping stove and two crepe pans. Slowly I made money, bought the crepe machines, the gazebo’ – and the rest is history.
Born in the south of France, Cecile went to catering school, learning all aspects of hospitality in the process. It’s evident in her calm professionalism, her attention to order and detail. Her crepes are made from buckwheat flour, from kernels she initially activates, in order to break down the indigestible enzymes, then blends with fresh filtered water. It’s that lovely, slightly nutty batter that she then pours on to the two heavy-duty cast iron crepe plates she brought back (on the plane!) from France, before proceeding to fill with either savoury or sweet fillings. Being made from buckwheat means these crepes are gluten-free and can be eaten by everyone, coeliacs included. ‘It was a gamble’, she says, ‘but it worked.’
A tiny girl in a tutu and gumboots is requesting a crepe with ‘just caramel, no banana’ and, inspired, I ask for one of the same. It’s Cecile’s own salted caramel and it’s heavenly, the whole thing, rich and buttery, yet somehow light!
Peace, Love and Crepes is at New Brighton Farmers Market every Tuesday from 8–11am, and Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday from 7–11am.