Aude: “Coulagues on stage”, a cabaret on the Montagne Noire farm

the essential
On Saturday 5 August, a cabaret dinner show will be held at the farm in the hamlet of Coulagues, in the commune of Lacombe, in the heart of the Montagne Noire de Aude. A big first in the department.

Farming is an increasingly difficult job. And the search for alternative activities is often necessary to respect the balance of exploitation. Sometimes these can surprise, such as the Folies Fermières staged by David Causette in the Tarn, west of Lavaur. A pioneer in the industry: he and his wife Laëticia have created a cabaret within the confines of his farm. There was much publicized success, so much so that last year a film was released that traces its history.

Between Fontiers-Cabardès and Lacombe, Christelle and Robert Puech have decided to follow in their footsteps by proposing their first dinner show on Saturday 5 August, on their farm in Coulagues, in the purest tradition of Parisian cabarets. Within a kilometer there is already an open-air cabaret, the Chat Barré, just enough to give this corner of the Montagne Noire an exotic air in a country music hall setting, particularly popular with city dwellers.

A 100% Aude show

In Coulagues, events were already organized regularly but, building on the success of their neighbors in the Tarn, the Puech couple decided to change gears by offering a dinner-show in their barn of over 400m2. He was made contact with Aurélie Giannunzio, director of a dance school, Ca’danse, in Limoux. “I teach all styles, modern, contemporary, classical, pole dance, oriental, jazz… With Covid, my business suddenly stopped. Then the idea was born to create a cabaret company, Shiny Folie’s. to put it on a farm. We can’t wait”.

A menu based on local products

For her part, Christelle Puech sees in this collaboration the possibility of installing this concept over time in the Aude Black Mountain. “This evening is centered around a menu based on local products, including veal calves from our farm, cheese from a producer from Fontiers-Cabardès, wine from Cabardès, not to mention vegetables from local gardeners and a dessert prepared with the help of a pastry chef from Carcassonne.”

Convinced of the success of this cabaret on the farm, the owners of Coulagues plan to perpetuate this meeting and to build a larger building which allows for the storage of equipment and the reception of the public. Christelle does not lose sight of the promotion of the direct sale of its products. “All our meats are sold off the shelf, whether on the farm, via the internet, at the markets, especially on Saturdays in Carcassonne, or during the fun events organized in the Aude throughout the year.”

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Farm specializing in cattle and pigs

Robert Puech represents the third generation of farmers on this farm located in the hamlet of Coulagues, in the municipality of Lacombe. Founded in 1993, the farmer has led the company in dairy production. With the economic crisis in the sector, in the mid-2000s, Audois converted its breeding to beef cattle. On about fifty hectares with his wife Christelle he raises 40 Gascon cows for about forty calves.

The Narco bull is the pride of the Puech family breeding.

This hardy breed is particularly suited to the Montagne Noire profile. After Covid, the couple integrated an outdoor pig farm of the Duroc breed crossbred by Piétrain, on three hectares. It has about twenty animals per herd at the rate of two a year, and the slaughter is done in Puylaurens as for cattle. The cutting of the latter is carried out by Viande Agri in Mazamet and by them in a pig workshop in Vaudreuille.

Robert Puech’s main project is now to set up a pork cutting workshop on the Lacombe site, complete with a dedicated charcuterie and charcuterie drying room. The fourth generation is on its way when we know that Nicolas, one of the couple’s three children, will be in charge of this future laboratory which should be operational at the beginning of 2024. However, the philosophy remains in the family’s genes, which is to always favor short circuits and offer local customers quality products. Traceability is not an empty word here.

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