Sheri Callahan Anaforian is the chef and owner of a wonderful café in Aloha called Café Beignet. This sweet little place has the best beignets (fried pastries smothered in powdered sugar) we’ve ever tasted — better than those from Café du Monde in New Orleans! In addition to beignets, Café Beignet offers wonderful baked goods and delicious Cajun/Creole dishes, some of which we’re serving you this month.
Sheri was born in California in 1959, and has been involved in the food business in one way or another for years. When microwaves first came out, Sheri taught classes of 80-100 people, entertaining her students with her bubbly personality and themed costumes. In order to pay for her children’s private school tuition, Sheri cooked lunch for all the students at the school for two years. She wanted to be with her mother on her 50th birthday, so she baked her famous comfort cookies, and sold them from the trunk of her car after church. She eventually sold enough cookies to pay for her family to fly to Toronto and surprise her mother for her birthday.
Sheri’s parents moved to Portland in 1994, and eventually so did her children. Her son, on a business trip to New Orleans, called Sheri with an epiphany – the family needed to get into the beignet business, and it should be in Portland. Two years later, Sheri and her husband moved here and two months after that, Café Beignet was born. They started small, but did it right. Adam and Aria (Sheri’s kids), both experienced baristas, insisted they roast their own coffee, which they now do daily. The café is housed in the old Aloha post office, and for an entire year, Sheri baked her quiches in a toaster oven, one at a time. She now has a commercial oven and a commercial fryer is on the way, so she can handle the ever-increasing demand for her terrific beignets!
Sheri has always loved to cook, and we’re fortunate she has decided to make her passion a career, so we can all eat her great Cajun/Creole cooking anytime at Café Beignet. Until you get out to Aloha to check it out, we’ll be serving you a sampling of their dishes this month. We hope you enjoy!
Three Little Pigs Quiche
Café Beignet offers a wide variety of beautiful quiches. This was our favorite! All-butter pastry filled with andouille sausage, bacon, ham & tomato in a creamy custard
a New Orleans favorite, rich with shrimp, ham, chicken, andouille sausage & traditional seasonings, slow-cooked with rice and aromatic vegetables
Red Beans & Rice
slow-simmered red beans with smoked ham & andouille sausage, served with rice
Blackened Chicken & Jambalaya
blackened chicken breast, served with jambalaya rice with shrimp, ham, chicken, andouille sausage & traditional seasonings, roasted tomato coulis (sauce) & mesclun greens
Honey-Bourbon Glazed Pork Chops
marinated & grilled pork chops, served with Sheri’s andouille & smoked ham red beans & rice, topped with tobacco onion rings
Sweet Potato Pecan Pie
a flaky butter crust filled with yams & topped with toasted pecans, served with caramel sauce & whipped cream