Last Saturday, Infinitea was packed with Francophones and Francophiles who met for a night of French cuisine and talk, courtesy of L’Association francophone des Rocheuses du sud (AFRoS).
AFRoS is a local group that promotes Francophone education and culture, and the night at Infinitea was the first of the group’s soirée AFRoS Series.
The series was born after the group’s previous Wednesday night French language conversation events saw dwindling attendance rates.
Heather Kerr, president of AFRoS, saw the opportunity to revive interest in the culture by organizing a new series.
“We wanted to start having events for Francophones and Francophiles so people who like French as well as people who speak French could come out and it would be for all ages and all walks of life,” explained Kerr.
The concept of the series was inspired by the popular French Canadian social gathering custom of cinq à sept, which generally brings people together between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m.
Kerr said, “In French Canadian culture, you don’t have brunch so much as cinq à sept, so this is loosely based on that.”
Attendees made reservations, paying a $10 entrance fee that granted them the French food for the night, tourtière — a meat pie — as well as two sides.
“This is definitely a French Canadian food as opposed to France French,” said Kerr. “Quebeckers would claim it as their own, although different pockets of French Canadians will have their own recipe. It can be really regional, sometimes it’s made with beef and garlic, some is beef and pork, some is beef and pork and veal and each region claims theirs is superior.”
Spurred by the outstanding turnout, Kerr said the night is the first of four or five soirées for the winter and spring seasons.
“It bodes really well for the future events,” commented Kerr.