Thebarton is a hotbed of authentic food surprises. The newest place to check on the Thebarton block is Kerou & Co, a French bakery and delicatessen run by the brother and sister team of Abel and Yael Kerouanton.
Hailing from France, Abel and Yael were both working locally in hospitality before deciding to open a bakery last year. “My brother and I have always looked to open a bakery,” Yael says. “There isn’t really any full authentic French restaurants in Adelaide but, for the two of us, a restaurant was a bit too much. We wanted to start small and we wanted to do something we were missing the most and it was really the bread and the pastries. Those were the things you cant really do at home, of that quality. You need certain equipment you don’t have at home.” Before opening Kerou & Co, which also sells small goods and imports French treats, they prepared crepes at a pop-up stall for Alliance Francaise events such as the French Film Festival and the French Christmas Market. “At the beginning we were only doing events but then people were asking [for private orders] and we started having private orders for some of our cakes and pastries. That’s when we thought it was time for us to get a shop. August [last year] is when we opened here. My brother and I went to France prior to that to look for suppliers because we use French flour, we import a lot of our products such as Belgian chocolate and French vanilla that we use in the pastries.” While you can buy French standards like croissants and baguettes in chains such as Coles and Woolworths, their main focus is on authentic regional pastries. “What we try and do is take a pastry from each of the areas where my family lives and bring it here. There’s a lot of it that if you hadn’t been in that particular city, you wouldn’t know about it because it’s so authentic, so regional. We do a tarte fromage from our hometown. Even French people who haven’t been to our hometown wouldn’t know about it, so that’s what we’re aiming to do: introduce things you don’t know with really good flavours.” And the difference between traditional French pastries and what we usually get in Oz? “Authentic French pastry is about butter not sugar. Australian pastry is about sugar – it has to be sweet. “The authenticity for me is not about how it looks, it’s about how it tastes. Our emphasis is on flavours, we always put flavour before anything else. The fact that it’s authentic, every pastry casing is not going to look the same. I make them with my hands. I’m not a machine. One day I’m going to press a bit harder to the left than to the right, might be a bit thicker here and there but at the end of the day you get that crispiness, flavour and flakiness. Everything is there that needs to be there. Kerou & Co will be showcasing their wares at the upcoming Cellar Door Fest as one of the new local producers to discover at the annual wine event. They will be producing longer shelf items such as small goods, French jam, dips as well as cake at the festival that runs in the last weekend of February. Cellar Door Fest Adelaide Convention Centre Friday, February 26 to Sunday, February 28 cellardoorfestival.com Kerou & Co 3 Ann Street, Thebarton kerouandco.com.au Images: Jonathon van der Knapp