During my childhood, I grew up on the beautiful French island of New Caledonia and if there is something we love saying it is “Always welcome whoever is knocking at your door with a smile and some good food – after all, sharing unites us”. I heard this quote practically all the time and especially from my grandma, who used to own and manage her own Bed & Breakfast in Koné, located in the Northern Territory of the island. Her immense generosity and absolutely delicious cooking made her one of the most respected and loved Chefs in the Northern countryside. Whether you were an exhausted truck driver, a young backpacker or even the neighbour across the street, my grandma always ensured that everyone had a place to sleep and some food in their belly. I am beyond proud of her and of the beautiful values that she taught me. I couldn’t agree more when we say that sharing food unites us. “ Wherever you’re from, grab a plate and tell us your story!” – that’s how my Grandpa welcomed people at the door.
This exact act of generosity and kind-hearted persona is something I have experienced at OBE Organic during my internship. Seeing people take the time to share their thoughts, their fun stories or even the meals they bought for their co-workers, is something that reminded me of my grandma and her Bed & Breakfast . Whether it is a quick tea break or a one hour lunch, you’ll always find someone joining you in the kitchen to have a nice chat. Seeing this also reinforced my belief that socialising and building a work environment where laughing out loud and sharing time with others is more than welcome, truly makes the office life more enjoyable.
When I was told that my colleagues at OBE Organic wanted to have a morning tea, featuring some French cuisine, you can imagine my excitement in sharing a part of my culture with others. My mother thus decided to roll up her sleeves, open our family’s recipe book, and bake one of my grandma’s favourites: Le Frasier (a strawberry sponge cake filled with mascarpone cream). This cake is also quite significant for my family as, after adding decorative fresh rose petals and candles, it would be an extremely popular birthday cake.
As you can see in this picture, the children’s book entitled “Lucas goes on his first cattle dipping” was actually written by my Mum! It depicts the story of her family, who are cattle farmers, rodeo experts and stockmen from New Caledonia.
This book has the particularity of being written in two languages: the front pages tell the story in French and, when you flip the book, you can read the translated English version!
If you’re interested, feel free to check out the book on https://caledolivres.nc/en/romans/8350-lucas-a-sa-premiere-baignade-du-betail-9791090364028.html.
If you’d like to discover my mum’s other books, check out https://caledolivres.nc/en/211-livres/s-1/auteur-charlotte_hurly.
Overall, I am beyond happy and grateful to have shared my culture, my story, and my grandma’s iconic recipe with the OBE Organic team. I was also happy to report to my mum that her cake was greatly loved by everyone.
As I am writing this last blog post in my final week of internship, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to the OBE Organic Team for their welcoming, their help, and their beautiful kindness. I truly could not have been in a more positive and fun office.
Thank you for your support everyone! Merci à tous!