Sunday, April 19, 2015

Le Brunch at French Food Camp

Every month I love coming up with a new menu and theme for the French Food Camp event that I hold at home for my friends and guests.  This month I wanted to focus on Brunch, with French inspiration, because I think that it’s important to have a few good brunch tricks up your sleeve if you entertain.  For friends or for family, brunch can be a very satisfying meal, and not break the bank.  I mean really, at about 60-70 cents for a pastured egg, it is a no-brainer….though in our case we had 130 eggs on hand for the day~IMG_0781

The amazing Mary Qvale styled the tabletop for seating for 20 under the loggia.  The crates and pine table were there; Mary brought the little vintage terra cotta pots, which I had to have, and will use for luminarias this summer.  I brought my dollie Vivienne down from my bedroom so a doll-collecting friend could see her; and then I brought out three baskets full of pastured eggs that I had bought from my three favorite farmers at the farmers markets.  Now, do you see the zinc pieces in the bottom left of this photo??~


Mary brought five of these vintage French zinc egg trays and had planned on using them on the tables down the center, but they were a little wide for the table, and so she set them aside thinking she would put them back in her car.  As soon as I saw them I was almost afraid to say it….are those…EGG RACKS?  Yes, they are.  So instead of having a basket of eggs for each of the three egg farms, I was able to lay out (lay out, that’s funny!…no pun intended) all of the eggs from the three farms so that everyone could appreciate their nuances of color and size and shape.  We had Araucana eggs in various shades of blue and green, and every tone between pale cream and dark brown.  As we were making three-egg classic French omlettes, this was an ideal display….I sent everyone out one by one to choose three eggs of their choice and then come back to the kitchen to learn how to make their omlette.  Everyone absolutely loved the idea of picking out their eggs.  There was plenty of fine excelsior to give a little hint of a henhouse, and a white cake filled with lemon creme and covered in roses, which was inspired by the Fabulous Contessa of Vintage Contessa/Vintage Henhouse; check out her Instagram hat and feed HERE.   But mostly, all eyes were on the organic beauty of the eggs~


The single long table was set with white French linen cloths, vintage linen napkins and French sterling, and Astier de Villatte dishes.  The guests picked up their crystal glasses in the dining room, so they were not on the table here.


There were a few pieces of Limoges mixed in, since we were so numerous; but this is part of the beauty of Astier ceramics…mix them with the old porcelain and they work perfectly.  Mary’s gorgeous florals of freshly-cut grape vines and iceberg and old damask roses paired with vintage glass and zinc were lovely~


Soon after these photos were taken, the guests arrived then got to eating.  There were omlettes made to order, French toast, crepes filled with lemon creme or rose ice cream or blackberry compote or fresh heirloom strawberries….it was delicious…..IMG_1408

We finished the day with crepes Suzette (great pyrotechnic show) and hot chocolate Paris style.  I’ll see if I can find some more food photos, but you will see them on Instagram too with hashtag #frenchbasketeer or #frenchfoodcamp

Guests arrived at noon and the last guest left at 9pm! A very good day indeed!!  There will be one or maybe two food camps before I leave for Beaune this summer; if you are interested in coming next month you can sign up on my website HERE and if anyone is interested, I think Mary has one or two zinc egg trays left….so email me or comment here if you are interested in those and I’ll put you in touch with Mary.  The Astier ceramics are also to order through Mary; I’ll post on those again soon.

Have a wonderful week~


  1. Those eggs!!!!
    That menu!!!
    The setting!!!

  2. Dear Andrea, the zinc egg trays are stunning as are the assortment of special eggs you served. The table! Oh my gorgeous beyond! Cannot wait to see even more glorious pics!! A great time had by all when brunch guests stay until 9!!

    The Arts by Karena

  3. Absolutely lovely! You are the Queen of entertaining, Andrea!

    xoxo - ciao

  4. It looks very lovely. Just a little aside not a criticism but if you want to set a french table we turn the spoons and forks the other way around so the faces are against the table.

    Annie v.

    1. OUI Annie!! I do that sometimes, especially since these pieces all have monograms to show off, but Saturday I turned the tablesetting over to Mary and her team, so I let them set it and didn't change a thing~

  5. Love the table scape done by Mary.Love the zinc egg holders........if the HEN HOUSE was still in business those would be gone!Looks like you are evolving with this French Food Camp.......FANTASTIC!The garden is starting to POP here...........I noted your roses on the cake!!!!!

    1. I thought of you when I saw the egg holders, Contessa! Totally your style~ I have two now, so now we can have Brunch for 40 just like this sometime~ love to see some pics of your garden!

    2. PS Contessa, the cake with all the flowers was inspired by YOU and your gorgeous hats this past week on Instagram!! Merci et XXOO

  6. I would be interested in a zinc egg tray or two ...

    1. Good Morning Carol, can you email me andrea at thank you~

  7. Can't wait for my first outdoor party. what a gorgeous Table.
    Happy Mother's Day.

  8. Hi, any chance you'll bring some wooden spoons from Dellhellerin in Paris when you return? Let me know would be interesred in purchasing.

    Sheila in SF