There’s a lot you can do with a pig carcass. Bastien Verslype has been making charcuterie since he was a child. Now he’s bringing the French style of salting, smoking and curing meat to Adelaide Central Market.
Verslype grew up in Burgundy and spent school holidays at his grandparents’ pig and crop farm where he’d help his grand-mère (grandma) cook using meat from the farm. “Terrine, white pudding (boudin blanc), saucisson and much more,” he says. He and his French partner Katia Vincon are now on a mission to introduce the best of their homeland to Adelaide.
When the pair moved to Adelaide in January 2017, they craved the fresh charcuterie they were accustomed to in France. “We’ve been living here for a year now and couldn’t find what we were looking for,” Verslype says. “We wanted to show Adelaide something special.”
The couple launched their business Les Deux Coqs (“The Two Roosters”) in early 2017. They started small, producing and selling French terrine, saucisson, rillettes and tapenade at a stall at Willunga Farmers Market. Momentum grew when they appeared as Adelaide Central Market’s producer in residence during December 2017. A pop-up stall followed and later this month they’ll open their permanent stall at the Grote Street end of the building.
The stall will be split into two sections: the east side serving pastries, quiche, vol-au-vent, sandwiches, baguettes, and soups prepared by an on-site French chef and served to eat in (at nearby Central Market tables) or takeaway. Opposite, it’s all about traditional, regional French charcuterie classics, “Most of [which] you cannot find here,” Verslype says.
The likes of boudin (savoury white or black sausages made from ground, spiced meat in natural casings, then boiled, poached, or blanched), meat mousse, Jambon de Bayonne (French cured ham cut thin and served on baguettes, croque-monsieurs and croque-madames), saucisson (dry-cured, fermented salami), rillettes (heavily salted confit cooked in its own fat) and terrine will be served. Pair them with Australian and French wines, which will be available by the glass.
Verslype spent 10 years working for a large food company in France before returning to his roots to focus on artisanal cooking methods. Emphasis will be on top-quality ingredients and preparation. A second French chef will be employed to prepare preserves and smallgoods out of a facility in Prospect for sale at the stall. Ingredients will be sourced from South Australian producers.
“We’ll serve traditional French food,” says Verslype. “It won’t be gastronomic, it will be more like a French bistro in France where you pay 15 euro and get a nice meal with a glass of wine or a dessert.”
Verslype also hopes to join forces for events with Smelly Cheese Shop co-owner Valerie Henbest. The French cheese enthusiast hosts regular Cheese After Dark events at Adelaide Central Market. Watch this space.
Les Deux Coqs begins trading at Adelaide Central Market this winter. Find it at Stall 2, Adelaide Central Market, 44–60 Grote Street, Adelaide.