Omelette Celebration is cracking a few eggs...5,024!
The Omelette Celebration started with 5,000 eggs and has added one for each year the giant 12 foot skillet has been fired up.
This years omelette will have 5,024 eggs cracked, mixed, blended with various ingredients and cooked over a well tended fire in the heart of downtown Abbeville. The new chevaliers added to the cooking crew this year have all paid their dues in helping to assist in producing past omelette celebrations. For them, the tall chefs hat and the poele (skillet) that they’ll wear around their neck will be badges of honor.
However local the Omelette Celebration may feel to residents and visitors of Abbeville, the event is actually world-wide in its practice. The local group is organized under the charter of The World Confrerie of the Giant Omelette, which is made up of the six cities that participate in the celebration: Bessieres, France; Dumbea, New Caledonia; Frejus, France; Malmedy, Belgium; Granby, Quebec Province, Canada; and Abbeville, Louisiana.
During the procession that leads up to the omelette cooking, visiting members of the other confreries will march with their own banner identifying where their home area is and will have unified colors for their own local uniforms.
The beginning of the Omelette Celebration has its origins in France with Napoleon trying to feed his army. The story is a local cook fixed an omelette for him that he enjoyed so much, he requested an omelette to be cooked for the rest of his army. Needless to say, this required more than a few eggs. From that point on, the story continues that the omelette was cooked to help feed the poor of the region.
In current times, the goal of cooking the omelette is to continue the French traditions in the places it is celebrated. It is designed to be held annually; the omelette is meant to be served at no charge; to cultivate communications between people of French language and culture; to gather its members in camaraderie; and to practice French culinary and culture in friendship.
When the local members of the confrerie visit other omelette celebrations, they stay in the homes with the families of the host members. The comments of those who have traveled to other festivals all resonate the theme of lasting friendships. From staying in someone’s home and sharing meals with them, the bond seems to go deeper than just cooking another batch of eggs.
Planning a festival is no easy task. The effort and work the Abbeville confrerie puts into the Omelette Celebration each year certainly shows that they do it for the love and fun of the event.