Manny Augello leaves Jolie's for a new endeavor with business partner Abi Broussard and Saint Street Inn.
By Kari Walker
Chef Manny Augello's name has been synonymous with Jolie's Louisiana Bistro - until now. His recent separation from the West Pinhook Road restaurant is allowing him to explore new culinary options and embrace the spirit of entrepreneurship. Alongside his ex-wife, Abi Broussard, he has launched Bread & Circus Provisions - a company with a passion for old-world foods with new world twists.
|Photo by Kari Walker|
|Manny Augello, second from left, and Abi Broussard, right, have found a temporary home for their Bread & Circus Provisions at The Saint Street Inn, owned by Nathan Stubbs and Mary Tutwiler. Augello also is a guest chef at the local restaurant, helping in the development of its gluten-free menu.|
Augello was among the first in town to offer farm-to-table cuisine at Jolie's when he became executive chef in 2011. Since then, other area restaurants have followed his passion for bringing food to consumers in this freshest form that supports local agriculture. Morgan Angelle, Augello's former sous chef, has taken over the executive chef role at Jolie's. "She's incredibly talented - it's her time to shine," Augello says, noting confidence in the continued success of Jolie's.
Augello's creative culinary spirit and Sicilian upbringing have been driving forces over the past year while developing Bread & Circus Provisions. "It's something that we thought Lafayette needed in a market-style establishment," says Augello. Bread & Circus Provisions' products revolve around unique condiments and charcuterie.
These products are available on Saturdays at the Market at the Horse Farm, but Augello and Broussard have creative plans to expand availability. Bread & Circus' products sold out in the first hour at its debut at the market, and that demand has led to an expansion into more than Saturday morning sales.
Products available from Bread & Circus include condiments like pickles, mustards, ketchups and sauces, and charcuterie items of belly bacon, pastrami and tasso. Augello has plans to add cured meats, but is now focusing on smoked meats.
|Photo by Kari Walker|
|Manny Augello and Abi Broussard of Bread & Circus Provisions|
Broussard contributes to production as well with confections like marshmallow fluff and oatmeal cream pies. "Everything corporate has messed up in the last 50 years, we just want to make right - pickles shouldn't have dye in them," Augello says.
Bread & Circus has decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to get community funded. "We want people to be a part of this to help get it launched," Broussard says.
The goal is to build seed money for a physical location devoted to Bread & Circus. The business partners have their eye on Downtown Lafayette. "Downtown really needs a market and a more residential feel and we can contribute that," says Broussard. Build out costs are holding the progress of a physical location back, as most spaces the duo desires do not have kitchens.
"Kickstarter will give us even more confidence once it's cultivated because then we know [patrons] will come," Augello says. The dreams of a space include plans to model it after old European-style markets where shoppers would come to get pantry staples and also serve hot foods with seating for an intimate feel. "It will be somewhere you can come get your gossip and your meat," says Broussard.
In the meantime, Bread & Circus is calling the Saint Streets home, thanks to the much-needed kitchen space at The Saint Street Inn. Owners Mary Tutwiler and Nathan Stubbs are hosting Bread & Circus for production and will be the first retail location to sell the condiments and charcuterie. In addition to his duties with Bread & Circus, Augello is working with Saint Street Inn chef Kris Allen on developing gluten-free menu options as Augello is a certified gluten-free chef.
Without a building of their own, Augello and Broussard are continuing to drive Bread & Circus forward beyond the Inn. The partners have plans to get creative with pop-up shops and reviving underground dinner parties filled on a first-come, first-served basis with a focus on people who love knowing their food is fresh and local as much as Augello and Broussard do.