New Mexico’s learning a new game.
You need balls of steel to play this game, but don’t let that stop you.
Pétanque (pronounced pay-tonk) is played by millions of people around the world, especially in France where it’s a national pastime. Ask Christophe Descarpentries, owner/chef of P’tit Louis Bistro and rabid pétanque enthusiast. He and team partner Todd Haagenstad met over a backyard game on Derby Day in Kentucky. Descarpentries learned to play as a child in France and quickly imparted his obsession to Haagenstad.
The two began recruiting other players in New Mexico nearly three years ago—Descarpentries through P’tit Louis Bistro, and Haagenstad though his family and Los Alamos network. The sport grows on folks that way. Haagenstad and crew have been known to forge through winter games whetted by frozen tankards of brew—it’s that compelling.