The Giant Omelette Festival finished another successful year by breaking 5,025 eggs.
While breaking things doesn’t always mean things went right, in this case, the broken eggs were used to make the omelette that fed almost 6,000 people, according to the association president Gordy Landry.
“I spoke to a student from Turkey who attends ULL,” said Landry, “and she said that her second year attending the festival was the best of the two years for her. We also had media coverage from Lafayette television stations, various newspapers, there was a video production crew working out there and an Internet radio station was there putting a documentary together for broadcast on their station. The Food Channel was supposed to be there this year, but had a last minute conflict, but it looks like they’ll be out here next year.”
Cooked in a 12 foot stainless steel skillet, the omelette didn’t take long to be distributed to anyone who wanted to eat. The Confrerie members in Abbeville have their assignments from cooking to stirring to tending the fire. Altogether, the local group is made up of approximately 100 members with between 40-50 having been knighted as chevaliers. They are the members with the tall hats and the skillets worn on lanyards about their necks.
Chevalier Whitney Atchetee is in charge of getting all of the supplies out to where they are needed. “All that butter that gets poured out onto the skillet to begin the cooking is actually unwrapped on Saturday,” said Atchetee. “We’re fortunate to have a lot of support from local companies to put on the cooking of the omelette. Earl’s Furniture loans us the truck to haul all of our supplies; the eggs are donated by McIlhenney Tabasco; the crawfish are donated by CC’s Restaurant and the vegetables are donated by Shuck’s Restaurant.”
Atchetee said one of his biggest challenges is to pack the truck so that the ingredients needed first are on the back end of the truck. “When the head cook, former sheriff Ray LeMaire, needs something, I have to make sure he has it and it is ready to use. And, as the eggs are ready to serve, we have 2,000 bowls and forks ready to use.”
This membership group also makes up the workers who cut the ingredients, crack the eggs, cut the bread and finally serve the omelette to the waiting crowd.
Chevalier John Baudoin was in charge of the arts and crafts festival this year and said that the majority of the vendors reported very happy results in both crowd attendance and in sales. Baudoin also said the festival increased from 56 vendors last year to 74 vendors this year, who occupied the booth space that would have accommodated 80 vendors. He said that several of the vendors went with double spaces.
Baudoin also said that the food vendors went from six to 11 this year.
There are a total of six Giant Omelette Festivals across the French-speaking part of the world. Landry said that eight visiting chevaliers from Granby, Canada, and Malmadey, Belgium, made the trip to Abbeville this year. He also said that several of the Abbeville Chevaliers made the trip to Granby, Canada, last June to participate in their Giant Omelette Festival.
The Giant Omelette Festival is held the first full weekend of November each year in Abbeville. Following some time off from this year’s event, the members will begin planning for the 26th festival in the near future.