The French Connection

Viva La Food Festival


Taste of Omaha will have a dizzying array of food available to sample, but there’s one eatery presenting food that under no circumstances do you want to miss: Le Petit Paris – French Bakery. 

“We are here to offer a trip to France without a passport,” says Cedric Fichepain, owner of Le Petit Paris – French Bakery and Le Voltaire restaurant.

The bakery opened in October of last year and has proven to be a perfect complement to Fichepain’s restaurant. At Le Petit Paris, French equipment and skilled bakers combine with American ingredients to offer diners authentic French baked goods including pastries, croissants and baguettes.

Welcome to France

“We are trying to really show off what you would find in a typical French bakery. We have a lot of croissants including chocolate and almond, as well as tarts and brioche,” says Fichepain.

He loves his country and wants to represent France well here in Nebraska. Fichepain is the Honorary Consul of France for Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

“I think people are afraid of the French stigma that everything is expensive and served in small portions. But that doesn’t apply to Le Voltaire or Le Petit Paris,” explains Fichepain.

He strives to make sure he serves the best quality food in town and says the bakery has been receiving compliments from people who have actually traveled in France.

“They are telling me, ‘your croissant is even better than some French bakeries serve.’ I know we are doing a great job in Omaha,” he says.

Taste of Omaha Debut

This will be the first year the bakery will be represented in the Taste of Omaha alongside Le Voltaire. Fichepain says he isn’t exactly sure what he will be serving yet, but is toying with the idea of offering some savory croissants.

He says they’ve been serving some at the bakery and the response has been positive. Two of the many possibilities are goat cheese and spinach or bacon and cheese.

“So that’s something we might add at the last minute. When you’re new like this, you just try to find the best fit for the festival,” he explains.

For his part, Fichepain loves attending the Taste of Omaha. He said it’s fun and it gets him out of the kitchen. He explains it’s a great way to make your place known because usually the people who attend are looking for something different.

“It’s fast food but you can put your own spin to it and we’ve been successful with that,” says Fichepain.

Le Voltaire will be offering sandwiches at the Taste of Omaha, doing a spin on a French dip. Fichepain says that instead of bread, the restaurant will use a baguette with au jus.

Don’t Miss It

Taste of Omaha spokesman Mark Mancuso said the culinary showcase offers a wide collection of food to taste, from chicken parmesan,braised beef sandwiches and Reuben rolls to drunken steak skewers, bacon wrapped dates and roasted sweet corn.

“Omaha is a diverse cultural community and this event offers many edible ethnic specialties,” said Mancuso.

Additionally, visitors will have the chance to meet top area chefs and learn how to make some of their popular recipes as well as enjoy ice-carving demonstrations.

The festival always includes music as well and this year’s event features national headliners as well as many of the area’s best bands and musicians throughout the weekend.

But in the end, the event is all about the food, and there is plenty to be had! Visitors to the Taste of Omaha may purchase books of tickets at the event. These tickets may then be redeemed for samples or “tastes” of food from the various restaurants in attendance at the festival.

“The Taste of Omaha is great because you don’t have to order a big meal somewhere. For $2, you can get a taste of a bunch of different foods. It’s such a fun event,” says Fichepain.

Taste of Omaha runs Friday, May 30 – Sunday, June 1at Heartland of America Park and Lewis & Clark Landing. There is no fee to attend. www.showofficeonline.com


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