Tracy Kish and Samantha Saliter are the duo behind The Crepe Cart (www.facebook.com/crepewizard), a new addition to the French Market serving French crepes on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Kish and Saliter spoke to Gambit about their inspiration and secrets to making perfect crepes
How did the idea for the cart come about?
Kish: We used to be the catering specialists for a creperie in New Orleans for about five years. We came up with the idea for the crepe cart about two years ago, because we thought it was really strange that the French Quarter didn't have a crepe cart. All throughout France, they're everywhere, so there's no reason not to have one here.
The cart design is personalized and unique. Who came up with it?
K: We came up with the dream of the cart and did a lot of brainstorming with designing the cart. We stumbled upon an engineer who thought our designs were really cool, so he put his heart and soul into building it for us. It was really lucky.
Saliter: We did so many catering setups from the creperie before — and it involved a lot of lifting and unpacking and so forth — we tried with the cart to be streamlined, so it has a space for a cooler and a grill; then big wagon wheels that we can take off if we want. It kind of collapses into a smaller cart. We tried to make it look very Old World style, because we're thinking we might also bring it to Renaissance faires.
K: We put a lot of thought into the compartments, so everything can be pulled apart and cleaned very quickly.
What's the secret to making a good crepe?
K: I fell in love with the process of making crepes, and I had never thought of myself as a good cook before. We got really into perfecting it, and finding ways to make the process as quick as possible with never a movement wasted. It's oddly meditative.
S: It's like a performance when you're making crepes. You have all of these people around watching you at all times, so it's about flourishing and the way you wield your spatula. You spin it out and it's kind of like a Zen garden — the way you rake the batter and fill it and flip it, then flip it again.
K: I'm trying to find out historically if there ever was a crepe cart in New Orleans. I can't imagine that we're the first crepe cart in the city, but maybe Lucky Dogs has just had a monopoly on pushcarts in the French Quarter.