Dreux Barra, proprietor of C’est Tout Dried Trinity Mix, joins Discover Lafayette to discuss the idea behind his product and its evolution.
A humble man who is a joy to be around, Dreux and his wife, Monique, have built a home-grown company which has unlimited potential to corner the market in the U. S. and abroad. Dreux is frugal and conservative, and pays cash for the products needed to produce C’est Tout’s wares. “There is no need to go into debt to grow a company organically,” Dreux says.
Born and raised in Lafayette near the Saint Streets area, Dreux describes himself as “Just a camp cook….not a chef.” Dreux is employed by day with Signal Security of Lafayette, a local security guard service. Monique works full-time with C’est Tout.
In the summer of 2016, Dreux found himself with way too many bell peppers left over at the end of an abundant season in his home garden. Not wanting to waste produce, he used his experience in drying beef jerky to dehydrate the bell peppers along with some onions he had on hand. He then had a revelation: there was no dehydrated Cajun Trinity product (onions, celery and bell peppers) on the market anywhere.
Experimentation and determination led to such a delicious blend of dried onion, celery, green onion and yellow onions that his friends encouraged Dreux to jar/preserve the mix to share with others. To ensure quality as he finalized the product, he asked his mom for her opinion one day as they ate lunch at a local assisted-living facility where she resided. His mom was an LSU grad who majored in Home Economics and knew a thing or two about proper balance in foods and how they should look.
Dreux’s mom’s advice ended up playing an instrumental role in the success of C’est Tout as she advised him to add red bell peppers to the mix saying, “Every food item must have color, texture, taste and you’re missing a little color. You need a little red.” Dreux says “And don’t you know, the red bell pepper adds both color and sweetness, along with improved flavor.” This also provided a different take on the offerings from the fresh “Cajun Trinity” offered by local outlets.
This beloved Cajun Trinity of onions, red and green Bell Peppers, and celery (and garlic in one version of C’est Tout) springs to life when combined with hot liquid. Four tablespoons of the trinity mix result in one cup of vegetables when one cup of boiling water is added.
With a stable shelf life of two years with no preservatives, C’est Tout is definitely a must for every serious chef’s pantry. Dreux originally offered C’est Tout at the Moncus Park Farmer’s Market in 2017, and still finds this a wonderful place to market their product.
At the taping of this show in mid-December, Dreux and Monique would be working their 47th Saturday at Moncus Park in 2023! They also participate on the first Saturday of each month at the Delcambre Farmer’s Market which Dreux says, “are real cooks who are showing up to buy the $3.00 per pound shrimp off the boat.”
C’est Tout also offers home chefs an easy way to cook gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee or other local favorites by streamlining meal prep while maintaining high nutrient quality. Orders for packaged dried meals may be ordered at https://thisiscajun.com/.
This interview is full of witty commnts from Dreux which will entertain and also inspire you to learn more about Cajun cooking. “I have become a flour scientist. When you toast the flour for an (oil-less) roux. It wisps white vapors. It’s not just puffing the flour, its actually shrinking the gluten out of the flour. The gluten is the bitterness of the gumbo. The longer your render, the less bitter it gets as the gluten shrinks. By toasting the flour, we’re actually cooking out the bitterness. When you open the package and put it in the pot on your stove, the bitterness is gone.”
Discover Lafayette is proud to showcase C’est Tout Dried Trinity Mix and its newest meal packages. Thanks to Dreux and Monique Barra for their unique contribution to Lafayette and Acadiana!