Ile de France celebrates its restaurantsis the idea launched by Babette de Rozières, every Sunday in the summer, with activities around restaurants in the region to help them find their customers. Combative, Babette has an extraordinary destiny: Birth of a secret meeting between two children from enemy families, in Guadeloupe; unhappy youth on the island; difficult integration in metropolitan France, until it finally asserts itself fully. Now a politician, restaurateur and entrepreneur, she is also a television star, on France 2, Gourmet TV, France 5, France Ô, or My Cuisine. She owes her passion for cooking to her maternal grandmother who raised her like her daughter. Of her real mother, she does not have good memories. In a moving book, she recounts having been beaten, considered the blackness of the family, and having seen her father only once.
Brilliant at school, Babette de Rozières manages to reach Paris to officially continue her studies. In reality she multiplies odd jobs and suffers from racism. Finally, she finds a form of appeasement by working alongside Maritie and Gilbert Carpentier at the ORTF. Ten years later, she launches into the kitchen, opens various restaurants until the current one, the Babette’s house in the Yvelines.
Behind her island smile, Babette de Rozières has a strong personality. His political career arouses criticism, his media coverage sometimes annoys. It must be said that she does not mince her words. But she has always run her restaurants as she sees fit, without trying to please, if not to her guests. She cooks up a cuisine that reflects her image: sunny, warm and sometimes spicy. She offers you (below) her recipe for cod acras.
300g of salted cod, 4 feet of cive or a bunch of chives, 1 white onion, 2 g of garlic, 2 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, 1 piece of West Indian pepper, 300 g of sifted flour, 1 packet of baking powder, 3 glasses of water, 1 liter of frying oil, salt, pepper.
The day before, immerse the cod in a container filled with cold water. The next day, throw in the water, wash the cod and cook it at a full boil in a basin of water to desalt it. Discard the first cooking water, add fresh water and cook again. Drain, let cool then remove the skin and bones. Crumble the flesh and put it in a blender, set aside.
Finely chop the herbs, cive, garlic, onion, pepper. In a salad bowl, put the flour, add the cod, then the herbs, and water. Stir everything well with a wooden spatula and let the dough rest for about 2 hours.
When preparing the acras, incorporate the baking powder. Stir well and let stand for 15 minutes. In a saucepan, put the frying oil. When it is hot, take small teaspoons of the dough and put it in the hot oil. Acras should immediately rise to the surface. Let them brown by turning them regularly in the oil. Using a skimmer, remove them and place them on absorbent paper. Serve hot.
Babette’s House reopened in early June, after the health crisis. Babette de Rozières will be one of the ambassadors for Taste Week, from October 12 to 18. And until then, don’t forget, every Sunday with her, Île-de-France celebrates its restaurants.