What’s on in December?

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Here’s a list of French and francophone related events on across Australia in December. If we have missed any events, please let us know in the comments below.

13/10 -03/03SYDNEYMasters of modern art from the HermitageMasters of modern art from the Hermitage
27/10 - 4/03MELBOURNEMirka Mora Pas de Deux - drawings and dollsMirka Mora Pas de Deux - drawings and dolls
- 04/02HOBARTFabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni: The UnmannedFabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni: The Unmanned
28/11 - 02/02MELBOURNENadja LeonaNadja Leona
29/11 -02/12PERTHNotre Dame de ParisNotre Dame de Paris
30/11 - 02/12MELBOURNEParis to ProvenceParis to Provence
01/12BRISBANEFrench Cooking Class - Spring MenuFrench Cooking Class - Spring Menu
01/12CAIRNSPique-Nique de NoëlPique-Nique de Noël
01/12MELBOURNEFree Wine Masterclass: Champagne vs ProseccoFree Wine Masterclass: Champagne vs Prosecco
01/12 - 02/12SYDNEYMarta Bevacqua Fashion Portrait WorkshopMarta Bevacqua Fashion Portrait Workshop
02/12CANBERRAChampagne Dame Masterclass: A sensory experienceChampagne Dame Masterclass: A sensory experience
02/12HOBARTEuropean Christmas CelebrationEuropean Christmas Celebration
02/12MELBOURNEAmour- Courtly love in 16th and 17th century FranceAmour- Courtly love in 16th and 17th century France
02/12PERTHChampagne SundayChampagne Sunday
02/12MERIMBULA, QLDCoupe d'AntibesCoupe d'Antibes
03/12CANBERRAClimate Change in the Pacific: Hopes for the upcoming climate negotiationsClimate Change in the Pacific: Hopes for the upcoming climate negotiations
04/12BRISBANEA night with Greg Malouf: The modern Middle Eastern MasterA night with Greg Malouf: The modern Middle Eastern Master
04/12MELBOURNEA Taste of FranceA Taste of France
04/12PERTHConversation with Poet Rodney St EloiConversation with Poet Rodney St Eloi
05/12ADELAIDECheese after Dark- Christmas SpecialCheese after Dark- Christmas Special
06/12MANLY, QLDMUMM Master ClassMUMM Master Class
06/12MELBOURNEFestive French FeastFestive French Feast
06/12MELBOURNEFirst Thursday Films: Happy EndFirst Thursday Films: Happy End
06/12MITTAGONG, NSWOZY Youth Choir fundraiser - Western Front TourOZY Youth Choir fundraiser - Western Front Tour
06/12SYDNEYSpicers Sydney Champagne Club - Celebrate Summer with Louis RoedererSpicers Sydney Champagne Club - Celebrate Summer with Louis Roederer
07/12MELBOURNEFolamour (FR)Folamour (FR)
07/12SYDNEYLa Fête des Lumières in SydneyLa Fête des Lumières in Sydney
08/12ADELAIDEA French Swearing Christmas SpecialA French Swearing Christmas Special
08/12ADELAIDENatural Rhythm Day Party - Folamour (FRA)Natural Rhythm Day Party - Folamour (FRA)
08/12ALBURYChristmas LunchChristmas Lunch
08/12BALLARATChistmas DinnerChistmas Dinner
08/12MELBOURNEAcid Stag (FRANCE)Acid Stag (FRANCE)
08/12MELBOURNEHetty Kate: Paris & MeHetty Kate: Paris & Me
08/12MELBOURNEEdith Piaf - Love, Life & No Regrets with High TeaEdith Piaf - Love, Life & No Regrets with High Tea
08/12MELBOURNEChristmas Cheese Showcase - Cheese & Wine tastingChristmas Cheese Showcase - Cheese & Wine tasting
08/12PERTHHigh Tea in FrenchHigh Tea in French
08/12SYDNEYThe Warehouse Collective presents Stephan Bodzin, Marcel Dettman, Dense & Pika, Made in ParisThe Warehouse Collective presents Stephan Bodzin, Marcel Dettman, Dense & Pika, Made in Paris
09/12ATHERTON, QLDChristmas lunchChristmas lunch
09/12MELBOURNEMade in ParisMade in Paris
09/12MELBOURNEMosaique Wines - Christmas French Wine Tasting and SaleMosaique Wines - Christmas French Wine Tasting and Sale
09/12SYDNEYDay Party: Folamour (FRA)Day Party: Folamour (FRA)
12/12CANBERRABeaujolais NouveauBeaujolais Nouveau
12/12SYDNEYEarthly Delights: Exhibition by Yulia PustoshkinaEarthly Delights: Exhibition by Yulia Pustoshkina
13/12ADELAIDEChristmas Cooking LessonChristmas Cooking Lesson
13/12CANBERRAChistmas PartyChistmas Party
13/12MELBOURNEJazzy JeudiJazzy Jeudi
13/12SYDNEYFrench Aussie DrinksFrench Aussie Drinks
15/12MELBOURNEBook Talk "But you are in France, Madame" Catherine BerryBook Talk "But you are in France, Madame" Catherine Berry
15/12PERTHChristmas party with Maison de FranceChristmas party with Maison de France
15/12 - 16/12MELBOURNEFrench Xmas MarketFrench Xmas Market
16/12MELBOURNEPerfume masterclassPerfume masterclass
19/12ADELAIDEAdelaide Accueil: Les pâtisseries de nos régionsAdelaide Accueil: Les pâtisseries de nos régions
20/12ADELAIDEChristmas Cooking LessonChristmas Cooking Lesson
20/12SYDNEYRomantic ParisRomantic Paris
22/12MELBOURNEEdith Piaf - Love, Life & No Regrets with High TeaEdith Piaf - Love, Life & No Regrets with High Tea
23/12 - 24/12SYDNEYOpera Greatest Hits (feat Bizet and Delibes)Opera Greatest Hits (feat Bizet and Delibes)
26/12 - 27/12SYDNEYOpera Greatest Hits (feat Bizet and Delibes)Opera Greatest Hits (feat Bizet and Delibes)
29/12 - 30/12SYDNEYOpera Greatest Hits (feat Bizet and Delibes)Opera Greatest Hits (feat Bizet and Delibes)
31/12MELBOURNEThe Breakfast Club NYE Skyline PartyThe Breakfast Club NYE Skyline Party
31/12BRISBANEMidnight in Paris NYEMidnight in Paris NYE
31/12PERTHSave water, drink champagne: NYESave water, drink champagne: NYE

Have a great December!

Maison Clement: Frenchman came to Australia to learn English, transformed Adelaide’s patisserie scene

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Recently, I spoke with Clément Labaere, French chef and pâtissier who opened his own patisserie called Maison Clément at the Adelaide Central Markets in September. I spoke to him about his background, his gateaux (of course!), French cuisine trends and his Christmas cakes. 

You’re a chef and pâtissier and here we are in your Maison Clément which opened about 2 months ago? 

Two months ago, yes.


And before that, you worked at Cliché and at Aux Fines Bouches. When did you arrive in Australia?

I arrived in March 2010. I came here to learn English and I found work with Richard at Aux Fines Bouches.



So you came directly to Adelaide?

Yes. I landed here.


Why Adélaïde ?

Because I knew Richard.


And you’re married to an Australian so it’s safe to say you’re going to stay here!

Yes, that’s the plan!



So like that, you came here to learn English and as you already knew Richard you came to work with him.

Yes, I knew Richard. I came to learn English and I liked it here so I stayed on to work with Richard for 6 ans. Afterwards, I left. I did a bit of consulting.


In which domain?

It was still in cooking. Always in cooking and restauration. The last place was at Cliché.


What kind of problem were you consulting to solve?

It’s just changing the menu or for example if a cafe is opening – organising and helping in the kitchen.


Why did you open Maison Clément?

Having helped people, we realise that our ideas are worth selling and having sold them a few times, you think that maybe it is best to keep your ideas for yourself to do the best for them.


And why here?

I live here. I live in the CBD so I have always thought that if one day I opened somewhere it would be in the city. I’d never thought of opening here in the market. But having looked, one of my contacts works at the City Council and the City Council contacted me as they liked my idea. There was a place that was suitable for my idea.


And it’s worked out quite well as we are nearly full here now!

Yes, its working pretty well!


Because a Wednesday at the markets, normally there aren’t many people around. I was a bit shocked to see everyone in here. It’s great. You also had articles published by The Advertiser, BroadsheetCityMag and InDaily

They’ve helped a lot, yes.


What’s the major difference between the work that you did before and having your own café?

There’s not a lot of difference. The biggest difference is being able to have access to all facets, like service, marketing and having direct contact with clients.


So were you trained as a chef and pâtissier or were you a chef before becoming a pâtissier?

I firstly studied to be a chef and once I had finished my studies, I wanted to learn more. In France, it takes 2 years for a diploma but if you are already a chef or pâtissier, you can just add on a year to do what you haven’t already done. So given I was already a chef, it was just one more year.


And we have a little difficulty in Australia that pâtissiers for us are for cakes but also for bread and croissants and the like,

Yes. The problem is that pâtissier is called « pastry chef » here but in France, a pâtissier doesn’t make pastries. In France, the pâtissier makes cakes and a boulanger makes pastries. So it’s all a bit mixed up.


Do you make all the cakes yourself each day?

Yes, Every morning. We have about 10 cakes that we always have – I call them the classics. And then for the rest, we try to change them every two to three weeks with specials, according to what’s at the market, what’s in season, etc.


What time do you start each day?

I start between 4 and 5am.


And for Christmas will you be doing anything special at Maison Clément? La bouche de noël?

We have a special cake which we will do. We aren’t going to do la bouche this year as yet. Maybe next year. There will just be one or two cakes especially for Christmas.


Clément’s favourite gâteau: le flan patissier


What is your favourite gâteau/pâtisserie?

Le flan pâtissier – « Le custard tart » it’s one of the classics that I will always like.


Looking at it, it makes me think a little of the flan breton.

Yes but it’s creamier than the breton.


I also saw that you import butter from New Zealand. Why from New Zealand?

Because we needed to find the butter with the closest taste to French butter and New Zealand’s was the best that we have tasted. We cannot import butter from France because it would cost too much and would in turn increase the prices of the pâtisseries.


And the flour?

The flour comes from Laucke, in Victoria. It’s the best flour.



I know that there is a boulanger in Sydney who imports flour from France.

We can also do that here. There is a company in Brisbane called France Gourmet. They import flour. We thought about doing it but you need to import a lot to have a good price. 40-50 kilos per week.


You spoke about how French cuisine is often very expensive and that you wanted to buck the trend.

There is more than the “fine cuisine” that people know. People always think of expensive French restaurants.


But in France they aren’t all expensive. Why do you think that French restaurants are always more expensive than Italian restaurants for example.

I think that they offer a lot more service. It’s much more based on service. And the importance of the cooking than the rest. That increases the price. The idea of this café  is to offer good service à l’australienne – so we offer service at the counter, not table service, which allows me to reduce the prices. And we only offer French classics that you would have in a bistro for example – le croque-monsieur, la baguette jambon – beurre.


And you’re also open Friday nights?

Yes, we open Friday nights. We have a small menu – we offer escargots, salade niçoise, and we do raclette.


So you really do a little bit of everything. It’s not just gâteaux at Maison Clément?

No, we try to do a bit of everything.


If it was your last meal…what would be your last meal?

Ooh, that’s hard. Now that I’ve mentioned raclette, I want to say raclette but I think that it would be the hachi parmentier. It’s a little like cottage pie. It’s minced beef with mashed potatoes. It remains my favourite dish.


Is it from your region in France?

No, it’s not from my region but it’s always been a family dish. A dish that mums or grandparents make in a big dish and everyone…


Everyone serves themselves… I’ve also seen that you do a chocolate sphere?

Yes we do that. Here, we have two hot chocolates. The normal one and a chocolate sphere which is filled with chocolate and a marshmallow and the idea is to pour your hot milk over the sphere and it melts, you can stir the chocolate in to have a bit of theatre in your hot chocolate.


And you’ve said that the flan pâtissier is your favourite gâteau but which one sells the most at Maison Clément?

It’s difficult to say but the flan pâtissier is one of the best sellers as is the tarte au citron. We’ve always got that.



I think that everyone likes that.

Yes, I think it was the favourite gâteau in France last year too.


Maison Clément is open:

Mondays to Thursdays from 7:30am to 4:30pm

Fridays from 7:30am to 9pm

Saturdays from 8am to 3pm.


Maison Clément is located in the Adelaide Central Market in the arcade which goes from the Supreme Court into the markets. It’s right next door to Haighs.


What’s your favourite French gâteau?