Saint-Pierre, situated within the north-west of Martinique. It was there that in 2012, the Strasbourg resident Philippe Mehn created a boutique restaurant devoted to his origins. A bit of piece of Alsace on the Caribbean that proves that cultures come collectively and are available collectively. Discovery.
On this final day of journey, torpor envelops Saint-Pierre. The heavy solar is crushed again by the tropical rains that come and go. In a particular environment, on the identical time calm and agitated, I cross, drunk with warmth, the sidewalks of this small city – lower than 5000 inhabitants – situated on the north-west coast of Martinique, on the foot of the well-known mountain Pelée. Trying to find a memento to carry again, instantly my eyes widen. I got here throughout L’Alsace a Kay. To what? Perceive, “Alsace, at dwelling” in Creole.
Within the window of this restaurant-shop, a photograph of the Racing Membership de Strasbourg is subsequent to a luxurious purse and an Alsatian poster with a Caribbean look. Too unhealthy for the change of surroundings, I’m going dwelling. Loaded with clichés, the within is well worth the outdoors. “That is Alsace”, launches Philippe Mehn, the boss. Initially from Strasbourg, 65 years previous, white hair, easy-going. He is among the 400 Alsatians who make up the “island of flowers”. However what’s he doing right here?
“When life closes a door to you, there may be all the time one other that opens. Me, behind that door, I discovered Martinique”, he recounts. This former gross sales supervisor left the metropolis to “to alter life”, a fantastic day in 2012. A bounce of 8000 km with within the baggage, an concept. Create a spot devoted to Alsatian tradition and gastronomy.
On its cabinets, practically 150 references. Wines, beers, vinegar, mustard, pottery. As for the menu, it has one thing to sweat, rather more than the 35 levels displayed on the thermometer. Baeckeoffe, ham, tarts flambées. Conventional, with out pepper and papaya.
“I stayed with the enduring merchandise. My objective is to promote differentiation, which you’ll be able to't discover right here. I carry flavors that folks don't know. We make them journey.”
Each 15 days, practically 300 kg of meals arrive by airplane. The assure of made in Alsace to attraction to an primarily native clientele. “I pinch myself every single day. Folks drive as much as three hours to eat sauerkraut.”, he says. “Alsace is in style as a result of there are numerous factors of convergence with Martinique. There’s a robust linguistic identification, after which on the gastronomic stage, there are flavors that we share akin to coconut, coriander , cinnamon. The individuals listed below are large eaters, like good meals, our delicacies fits them very effectively “.
By way of know-how, it’s on Wisny Angeon that we should rely. This Martinican discovered to work Alsatian dishes for a month, with out ever having set foot within the East. “I by no means anticipated to prepare dinner these dishes in the future. The primary time I used to be amazed”, he admits.
Stunned, Joana Dibal is simply too. This inhabitant of Saint-Pierre took benefit of her meridian break to find the sacrosanct sauerkraut. “Us right here it's extra greens, we eat cabbage principally in salads, however that method it tastes excellent. I believe it is going to be a dish so as to add to my listing”, she is happy.
The form of praise that appreciates Philippe Mehn, who misses nothing, or nearly. “I've been tanning the zoo for 3 years to usher in a stork”, He smiles. “Thirty years in the past, I by no means thought I'd get away from the cathedral. As we speak, I can't recover from the world, I dwell in it. There may be solely the scraper. ice cream that I saved in my automobile which is not helpful to me “.
Those that are generally requested by locals to prepare vacationer journeys to the Alsatian capital have the sensation that they’ve gained their wager. Unite two cultures “very shut” and float the colours of Alsace above the Caribbean.