Sainte Terre • Benton
“When you grow up in the South cooking with your family, I guess you don’t always equate it with a career,” says Holly Schreiber, the culinary director behind Benton’s Sainte Terre, a boutique catering venue for weddings and more.
Holly grew up in Benton, a small town near Shreveport, where family and food walked hand in hand. But while she attended college at Texas Christian University, Holly cooked as a private chef to earn extra money. Suddenly, “it clicked,” so she changed majors and earned her degree in nutrition to prepare for culinary school.
Holly attended the International Culinary Center (formerly French Culinary Institute) in New York. She began her career by developing recipes and menus with the institute following graduation. During that time, Holly met her husband and business partner, Derek, who was the institute’s CFO—proving to be the perfect match in their development of Sainte Terre.
Now, food and family have once again joined hands for Holly. “A lot of my kitchen staff are my family, and having my family around has shifted my vision,” she says.
Part of that vision is creating memorable experiences for clients. With Holly’s culinary background, Sainte Terre’s clients enjoy the freedom of her custom menus. Each one is uniquely designed to recreate childhood meals and first dates or even blend the cultures of two families.
“We’ve had a family where half of the family was flying in from Vietnam and the other half was from Louisiana, so we had this really cool Vietnamese-Louisiana fusion that highlighted similarities between the two cuisines,” says Holly, noting that Vietnamese cuisine is heavily influenced by French cuisine. “So, we did a banh mi po’ boy bar and a gumbo and a pho bar and had little signs about why they were similar.”
Holly rarely finds herself in a creative rut, but whenever she gets the chance to create something for herself, she likes to combine classical French cuisine with the French-inspired cuisine of Louisiana, as with her Blue Crab Crêpes with Cushaw Cream Sauce.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 4 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Pinch kosher salt
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 shallot, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, divided , plus more to taste
- 7 ounces lump blue crabmeat, picked free of shell
- 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 3 green onions, sliced
- ⅓ cup thinly sliced cherry peppers
- ½ cup grated Gruy.re cheese, divided
- ½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
- 6 dashes hot sauce
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 large lemons, thinly sliced and seeded
- Cushaw Cream Sauce (recipe follows)
- Arugula, to serve
- In the container of a blender, place flour, milk, eggs, melted butter, pinch salt, and nutmeg; blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Heat an 8-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat, and spray with cooking spray. Pour about ¼ cup of batter to make a thin layer in pan; cook until lightly golden, about 30 seconds per side. Repeat until you have made 16 crepes. (All the batter should be used at this point.)
- In a medium sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add eggplant and shallot, and season with ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and lightly browned.
- In a large bowl, combine eggplant mixture, crabmeat, ricotta, green onion, cherry peppers, ¼ cup Gruyère, Old Bay, and hot sauce. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Preheat oven to 350˚. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange lemon slices on prepared pan in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly with remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt. Bake until slices are beginning to dry and slightly brown at edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
- Fill each crêpe with 3 to 4 tablespoons filling, and fold tightly. Place in prepared pan. Spread any remaining filling on top of crêpes. Top each crêpe with 1 tablespoon Cushaw Cream Sauce, and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Gruyère.
- Bake until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Serve warm with remaining Cushaw Cream Sauce, a few roasted lemon slices, and arugula.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small fennel bulb (about 4 inches wide), diced, fronds reserved
- 1 leek, sliced
- 2 cups cushaw, cubed*
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup sherry
- 2 tablespoons lump blue crabmeat, picked free of shell
- 1 cup clam juice
- 3 fresh basil leaves
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add fennel, leek, cushaw, garlic, and salt; cook, stirring once or until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add sherry and crabmeat; cook for 1 minute to reduce. Add clam juice and basil leaves; reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until vegetables are softened.
- Add softened vegetables and their liquid to the container of a blender. With blender on low speed, add cream in a slow, steady stream. Increase blender speed to high, and purée until sauce is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining pulp. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Join Holly and the other 2018 Louisiana’ Cookin Chefs to Watch for an exclusive six-course dinner at Galatoire’s Restaurant in New Orleans!