Featured Photo: Chef Holly Schrieber of Sainte Terre. Photo by Jim Noetzel.
I can’t remember exactly who said what, but I do remember stopping in my tracks and saying something like: “I’m sorry, did you say that Holly worked with Jacques Pépin?” A co-worker and I had driven out to Sainte Terre, a beautiful new event venue in Benton, to tour the facility and meet the young couple who’d built it, Derek and Holly Schrieber. Holly, it turns out, was not playing around when she said that she’d worked with some pretty well-known chefs. She’s a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in New York City (now known as the International Culinary Center), where she was also employed for five years and worked with legendary French chef and all-around food deity Jacques Pépin. Saying that you cooked with him is something akin to saying that you painted ceilings with Michelangelo.
Holly’s husband, Derek, also sports a crazy impressive resume that includes event planning for the Les Halles Restaurant Group in New York City (the career of celebrity chef, author and television host Anthony Bourdain was launched from the kitchen of Les Halles). The fact that these two have opened an event venue in Benton, Louisiana, where they’re planning to serve sustainable, locally sourced and (from the menus I’ve seen) incredibly creative food at events is pretty amazing.
In case you’re not among the lucky few who’ve been invited to a wedding at Sainte Terre since the facility opened in November 2014, the Schriebers are planning a pretty fantastic-sounding Valentine’s meal on Friday, Feb. 13 that is open to the public. The “Lovers & Friends Valentine’s Dinner” will consist of a five-course meal with wine pairings and live music by A.J. Haynes. Tickets are $85 each and are available now by calling 318-936-9544 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see the entire menu here.
And food lovers should check out that menu. “Creole tarte flambee with crawfish, bacon lardons, creme fraiche, and gruyere?” “Great Raft-braised short ribs with a crusted gratin potato cake and smoked cornmeal oyster?” It all sounds pretty incredible to me.
Hopefully, Shreveport-Bossier will see more opportunities to enjoy Sainte Terre’s food, though I’ve heard that they’re booked pretty solid with weddings for 2015. If anyone is getting married at Sainte Terre anytime soon, please feel free to add me to the invitation list.