Little France in Anjuna

By on April 15, 2016
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Frenchwoman Dayini Feraud and her husband Leo Michaud have kept locals and tourists returning time and again to their café Baba au Rhum in Anjuna

Born and raised in a mixed Indian and European culture, Feraud grew up with a love for food. It was after meeting her husband Leo Michaud that she picked up more about cooking. His parents, both chefs, taught her the basics of cooking. Michaud’s mother was a self-taught chef who owned two restaurants in France and his father was a baker who made tasty pizzas. Feraud has a younger sister and a daughter.

“I have always had a love for good food. In fact, we all love good food. Both India and France share a deep love of attention to detail in food preparation, and both have cultures of quality food,” said Feraud. It is the immersion in these two cultures, she believes, that have strengthened her talent. 

She discovered Goa while getting wind of India. It was the state’s natural beauty and tranquillity that drew her attention. Feraud recalled, “When I first came to Goa in 1997, I was traveling from Delhi to Auroville, Tamil Nadu on a battered 350 Enfield Bullet with some friends and we decided to make a last-minute stopover in Goa. I was immediately moved by the beauty and lushness of the place, so different to the hot, dry part of India.”
After discovering the beauty of Goa, Feraud knew where she wanted to be for the rest of her life. Together with Michaud, they settled in the state without a second thought. While discussing how to make a living in Goa, they were struck with the incredible idea of opening a French café at a time when the state didn’t have one. And that is how the little bakery and café Baba au Rhum came up in Anjuna.
Like every newly opened restaurant goes through a rough patch initially, so did Baba au Rhum. “In the early days we dedicated a great deal of energy to developing a network of quality food suppliers and overcoming the obstacles this entailed. We face India’s well-known challenges of frequent power cuts, Indian standard time and the wonderful chaos that living and working here brings,” said Feraud. But in the end, it was the openness and qualities of the country that touched their hearts.

Read the full article in 'Viva Goa' magazine copy.
Viva Goa magazine is now on stands. Available at all major book stalls and supermarkets in Goa.

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