The Brioche

It is true the food evokes memories from meals and events, family celebrations, weddings, break ups and travels around the world. Recently, I have had brioche swirl up into my consciousness.

When I was a junior at Boston College, I spent a semester in Strasbourg, France. I lived with a family and the “mom” was a classically trained chef who taught French cuisine at the university. How does a kid get so lucky to stay with a family like that? I had fresh pastries for breakfast every single day…the real blessing is that I had to walk 45 minutes to school and I was still healthy, but not yet diagnosed with celiac disease. I took a particular liking to the brioche.

Recently, I traveled to Las Vegas and stayed where Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro was a quick elevator ride away from my hotel room. I had brunch there before flying back to New York. The “Breakfast Americaine” comes with pastry and brioche, but I asked the server to hold those. I did not explain why, I just said to hold those items.

I had been in touch with the communications team from TKRG about their new gluten free flour, C4C (cup for cup) gluten free flour, after I read about it in the New York Times. I followed up with my contact after I ate at Bouchon and received an invitation to the launch of the flour at Per Se in New York City.

I met Thomas Keller and Lena Kwak, the research and development chef, and told her my story about my love of brioche and how sad I was not to eat the gorgeous looking pastry at my breakfast at Bouchon. She pointed me in the direction of a gluten-free platter of brioche and Danish.

They were so delicious! The fact that I was nibbling a gluten-free brioche, to me, was just astounding. The last time I had a good brioche was in Strasbourg, France, a waaaaaay long ago…1988. Maybe I have eaten a brioche since 1988, I have only been diagnosed a celiac for fifteen years.

No other brioche eating experience evokes the memory of sitting in that tiny kitchen in Strasbourg with a warm “bowl” of café au lait and a perfect brioche on my plate, eating that brioche at Per Se really brought back a lovely memory of France through my taste buds. Thank you!