The Basque region straddles France and Spain and is well known for its excellent food. It’s also where Chef Chantal Véchambre spent much of her childhood, growing up near the ocean in Biarritz, France. Her menu is a reminiscence of her upbringing and the food of her youth, and features a selection of classic French Basque dishes
This is a classic fisherman’s soup similar to the Provençal bouillabaisse, made with a variety of fish, gambas (Mediterranean shrimp), mussels, and tomatoes, and spiced with the distinctive Espelette pepper, from the Espelette region in the Pyrenees. Served with large croutons of bread.
Chicken Basquaise and Piperade
Seared chicken legs are a slow-cooked with a Basque piperade stew of onions, garlic, green & red peppers, plenty of tomatoes, and spiced with the traditional Espelette pepper. Served over rice, with a light green salad.
One of the most well know Basque specialities, this dessert is neither strictly a tart nor a cake, but rather a sweet sourdough pastry with one of two traditional fillings. You’ll get to try both versions; one with rich creme patissiere, and the traditional dark cherry marmalade using the Itxasxou cherries found in the region.
Bayonne Hot Chocolate
The Bayonne region has had a rich history of chocolate makers, many of whom were Sephardic Jews who resettled there after being driven away from other areas outside Iberia and the Basque region. This spicy hot chocolate, gets its kick from the characteristic Espelette pepper.
Chantal Vechambre, a French national and trained chef, spent 6 years in Atlantic Canada, in part researching her award-winning book French Taste in Atlantic Canada, A gastronomic history 1604-1758, about the ingredients, adventures and history of the Acadian people who lived at the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia.
Every weekend The Depanneur invites a guest chef to host a fun, informal dinner party.