French abroad: How long have you been living in Lisbon?
Laura: I moved to Lisbon seven years ago with my family. At first, we wanted to leave Paris to settle in Brazil, but the conditions for obtaining a visa were complicated. It was then that we decided to pack our bags in the Portuguese capital. A year after our arrival, my husband and I opened our office Creepy In order to represent France abroad.
Journalist: Where does this desire to introduce French crepes to Portugal come from?
Laura: Back in France, I had a salad bar in the center of Paris and wanted to try a new adventure abroad. Pancakes were an obvious choice, already because I love them but above all because baking pancakes does not require a lot of economic investment unlike, for example, bakeries. Finally, pancakes are a specialty that everyone knows, and for less.
FAE: Where do your products come from?
Laura: I buy my products in Portugal, except for the buckwheat flour, which I import from France. I don’t necessarily notice any major differences between Portuguese or French products, except for the butter, which doesn’t taste good at all. By the way, a little anecdote: a friend came to visit me some time ago and decided to make croutons with butter. It was put on a plate and then she asked me what it was and when I told her it was butter she was surprised at what I had just told her.
FAE: Your restaurant has been around for six years now. Were the beginnings complicated?
Laura: The Portuguese thought I was just serving Nutella pancakes and it took a good month to realize this was a restaurant that served sweet and savory things. Then, we worked through word of mouth but also by the people of the area, who are fond of knowing about new flavours. Portugal is a very small country, so everything is known very quickly, and then the country’s media moved to talk about creperie.
FAE: What pies do your customers like the most?
Laura: I don’t really have any groundbreaking products because when customers come in they discover new flavors, things they’ve never eaten before. What I love above all here is that the Portuguese are not afraid to taste new things even if I have to admit they are very proud of their gastronomy. For them, French cuisine is good but not as good as theirs. It is also the same in France, if you interview a chef in Paris, he will tell you that there is nothing better than French cuisine.
FAE: What are the differences between French and Portuguese cuisine?
Laura: No matter what restaurants you go to in Portugal, you will find the same thing, ie meat or fish served with rice or french fries. Soup is also a staple here. Whether it’s hot or cold, the Portuguese eat soup a lot. In France, we are not afraid to revisit our classics by mixing flavours. We like to risk cooking a little more in France.