French Fare to the Gold Coast
9 Nov 2018
Lyon’s cultural reputation is often framed by its cuisine and gastronomy, so when one of its native born sons moves half way across the world he carries a certain weight of expectation about his appreciation of fine food.
Nicolas Offroy came to the Gold Coast to study Project Management at Bond University and is one of the 2018 Mayor’s Student Ambassadors. While he has no doubt that living and studying on the Gold Coast is a dream come true, the two things he misses most from home are his family and French food.
“Outside of a meat pie or Vegemite it’s hard to identify Australian cuisine, but in France there’s not only this rich history around food, but it breaks down into different regions where certain areas are famous for particular dishes.
I miss even the simple food, like going to the bakery having a real French croissant or a baguette. I love pastries and sweets in particular and you can’t get any better than what’s on offer in a French patisserie, so I definitely miss that. I can get a great croissant in France for about $1 - $1.50, but to get an authentic one here it costs so much more.”
The World’s Best Croissant
Curiously the New York Times recently named Melbourne's Lune Croissanterie responsible for making the best croissants in the world and when Nicolas heard the news he had to find out for himself at the first available opportunity. “I went there and tried them and yes they were superb, but you had to join a huge queue to get them and they were $10 each!”
Surely there are good French restaurants on the Gold Coast? “Yes, the food I’ve tried here was very good, but again expensive compared to what I would pay for the same food at home.”
Nicolas particularly misses French bread and cheese, so his parents sent him a box of French produce for his birthday, but because of tough import restrictions there’s a lot of food that doesn’t comply which customs won’t let through.
“In Australia all cheese is pasteurised, but in France it is not and sadly that’s where the real flavour comes from – the worse it smells, the better it tastes! You can’t send through any unpasteurised cheese.”
Recently Nicolas returned to France for a holiday and admits that he went ballistic for the local food. “I put on a lot of weight when I went home, but I was smart, I didn’t weigh myself before I left so I don’t really know how much I put on.”
Despite what Nicolas misses from home he’s adamant that the Gold Coast is where he wants to be for the long term.
“The things I love about the Gold Coast that France can’t compete with – the weather, the stress-free lifestyle and the beach of course. I love living and studying here. It’s weird because I miss my friends and family most of all in France and that makes me home sick, but yet when I come back to Australia I’m always very happy to be back.”
*Nicolas Offroy enjoying Gold Coast student life as he takes a selfie with his fellow Ambassadors.
**All other images courtesy of Nicolas Offroy