Chez Jacqueline


114 East Bridge Street
Breaux Bridge, LA 70517
(337) 507-3320

In the heart of Acadiana, French national Jacqueline Salser ladles up bowls of gumbo that bear almost no resemblance to any other dish in the area of the same name. A  light butter roux. No trinity. No sausage. Scallops. Yet hers is a gumbo through and through, and not in the least because of the spirit in which she cooks it. Jacqueline moved to Breaux Bridge in 1989 not because of the Cajun food, which is too spicy for her taste, but because of “the people, the kindness.” In 2003 she opened Chez Jacqueline, “a little restaurant,” where alongside some regional specialties she serves French dishes in the style her parents once cooked at the French country restaurant about 20 miles from Paris in which they raised her. Like her parents’ place, Chez Jacqueline is family-owned-and-operated. Her husband and daughter work there, and her granddaughter loves to help her cook. A few times a year she offers a traditional French bouillabaisse, which, contrary to popular consensus in many Louisiana historical texts, Jacqueline says is “completely foreign from gumbo.”

Date of interview:

August 13, 2008

Interviewer:

Sara Roahen

Chez Jacqueline - Jacqueline Salser - Gumbo Trail
That’s what I told my customer. I cook all of my food with love—like the gumbo or étouffée or the bisque. They look at it and say, Hmm, that’s not what we’re used to. And I say, Well taste it. And they taste it and they say it’s the best thing they remember in their life.

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