Dining

In My Kitchen: Fletcher Richards, President, Lucile's Creole Cafe

By
May 2010

Kitchen Cred Thirty-five years ago, Fletcher Richards—a logger with a sociology degree—never saw himself becoming the force behind Lucile's Creole Cafe. But when he found himself jobless in 1980, he made a career change and turned his sister's struggling restaurant into one of the area's most beloved breakfast spots. Today, this entrepreneur can be found running four Lucile's locations, irrigating his Niwot farm with his wife, Judy, or whipping up an all-American pancake breakfast for their kids.

Morning Staple
While you might picture Richards making pancakes from scratch at home, his old-reliable is Bisquick.

Fresh Veggies
The family has a one-acre plot of land in Niwot where they grow many of the vegetables—including potatoes, tomatoes, and okra—that are used at the restaurant.

Pages of Inspiration
The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine, by John D. Folse, was a gift from Richards' restaurant buddy and partner Tony Hanks, who now owns Lucile's Fort Collins location. The book is Richards' favorite reference, and many of his personal, at-home recipes were inspired by these pages.

A Dash of This
The recipe for Lucile's Original Creole Seasoning was created by one of Richards' first head cooks, who worked with the famous Brennan family in New Orleans. "It's all about salt, cayenne pepper, and garlic."

Southern Roots
Chicory coffee is a morning must. This distinct brew is 15 percent chicory (which is said to improve the circulation and assist in digestion) and 85 percent coffee. Richards is such a fan of the java that he has it packaged for Lucile's.

Quick Tip
Ditch the salad spinner, and grab a clean linen. Place a washed head of lettuce in the center, wrap it up, take it outside, and swing it around your head. Richards swears this simple solution is the most efficient way to dry your greens.

The Namesake
Lucile's is named after Richards' mother, who contracted polio in her early 20s but courageously raised six children from her wheelchair. Today she is 82 years old and lives on Martha's Vineyard.

Lucile's Rice Pudding Porridge

  • 12 cups whole milk
  • 1 ½ cups short-grain rice
  • 1 1/3; cups sugar
  • 1 ¼ tablespoons vanilla
  • zest of 1 lemon

Bring ingredients to a boil. Simmer until rice is tender and porridge has reached desired thickness. Distribute into four or five bowls and garnish with currants and raspberry sauce (recipe below).

Lucile's Raspberry Sauce

  • 3 cups raspberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Heat raspberries, water, and sugar to a simmer. Force through a fine mesh strainer and return to a boil. Thicken with cornstarch and water.

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