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Friday, December 16, 2011

50 Women Game-Changers (in Food): #28 Anne-Sophie Pic - Pain Perdu (French Toast)

the "Gourmet" prompt...
28. Anne–Sophie Pic- OK, Le Fooding is more au courant than the stuffy old Michelin Guide, but that three–star award still means something. And Pic was the first woman to win it—in 50 years at her century–old family restaurant, La Maison Pic.

She's French.  Her father was a chef.  Her grandfather was a chef.  Growing up, her bedroom was situated over the kitchen of her family's restaurant.  So of course Anne-Sophie did what any normal teenager would do.  She rebelled. She rebelled against the family business of being in the kitchen.  She did (what I consider to be) a complete one-eighty by going overseas to study "management".  Fortunately, at 23 the pull of the kitchen led her back and she decided to train under her father.  Sadly, he passed away not long after she made her decision.  But she kept on...and she shook up the restaurant by changing the menu to "reflect her devotion to plain, natural ingredients".*  Can't you just hear the French curses flying!?
 Pain Perdu
{French Toast}
adapted from: Anne-Sophie Pic
serves: 2-4 people

4 fat slices of Brioche
2 eggs
10 grams sugar
5 dl (~1 c.) whole milk
½ vanilla bean

Whisk together the eggs and the sugar.  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and whisk them and the milk into the eggs.

Place a skillet over medium heat.  Dip each slice of Brioche into the custardy mixture and flip.  Let sit to soak for about five minutes.  

Add a pat of butter to the hot skillet and once it melts, lay on the soaked bread.  Cook for a few minutes, or until golden.  Flip and repeat.  Repeat with remaining slices.

Serve warm with more soft butter, seasonal jam (like this Pumpkin Jam), and/or maple syrup.  (note: I also love adding a good grating of nutmeg to my custard mixture.)
In May '11, Gourmet posted a list of 50 Women Game-Changers (in Food) that runs the gamut from food writers to cookbook authors to television personalities to restauranteurs to chefs to food bloggers.  Some are a given.  Some are controversial.  Speaking the names of some brings fond childhood memories.  Speaking the names of others will make some readers cringe.  And of course, some of our favorites were not even included.  We food-lovers are a passionate bunch of people and whether we agree or disagree, every woman on this list has earned her place for a reason.  Being a woman who is passionate about food (cooking, eating, talking about, writing about, photographing), when I caught wind of Mary from One Perfect Bite's idea of cooking/blogging her way through each of these 50 per week...I knew I wanted to join her.  Many of these women paved the way for us in culinary school, in the kitchen, in cookbooks, in food writing, and on television and I think it is a fabulous way to pay tribute to their efforts.  Some of the women on the list have been tops with me for years.  Some I have heard of (perhaps even seen, read, or cooked from) before.  And there are even a handful that I am not familiar with at all.  I excited to educate myself on each of these women game-changers and hope you look forward to reading along.  We are going in order from 1 to 50.
Who is cooking along with these 50 Women Game-Changers?

I am sharing this post with:
Foodie Friday Logo 2 friday food at mom trends

Would you like to comment?

  1. Looks fantastic. We do love french toast in this house.

  2. If you follow my recipe blog, you know I have serious issues with recipe names like pain perdue. French toast is french, a fancy name doesn't make it taste any better. OK, I'm off my soapbox...that first picture is a REAL winner, looks absolutely delicious!!!

  3. I don't really consider it fancy...just French!  And since I'm honoring a fabulous French chef, it is only fitting that I not change the name of her "recipe" that I am sharing =)
    ...Heather Schmitt-Gonzálezblog: girlichef
    twitter: @girlichef

  4. Your write-ups of these women game changers are always pithy and funny Heather...I CAN hear the curses flying!   The French Toast looks amazing with vanilla bean and nutmeg, I think I'm going to make this for Christmas breakfast--- my family thanks you in advance.

  5. You did a great job BBFF. This is such a comforting dish!

  6. Love the inclusion of vanilla bean! I always do cinnamon, but this makes me excited! I also always thought pain perdu was stuffed french toast so it's interesting to learn it's french toast plain and perfect!

  7. Interestingly enough French cooking generally is the most exquisitely cooked version of plain foods. In fact they very rarely use anything beyond salt and propert. :)

  8. With the use of whole milk and brioche, this is probably much richer than the french toast we're used to around here -- think skim milk and water challah. 

  9. Gorgeous photo at the top! Sounds like a nice holiday brunch item.

  10. Nothing more delicious than pain perdu made with brioche, Heather! So rich. And perfect for the holidays!

  11. josé manuel martín fernándezDecember 16, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Que buena receta, me gusta

  12. Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabitsDecember 16, 2011 at 1:46 PM

    It's funny that the French call it Pan Perdu and we call it French Bread.
    I'm sure this must taste absolutely wonderful.

  13. Love your pictures! I like French toast - simple to make and tastes great.

  14. I love the seasonal touch with the pumpkin jam! French toast ... a lowly use of bread that makes for a spectacularly fantastic eating experience! Bravo!

  15. Husband insists on French Toast every Christmas morning (I grew up with Eggs Benedict, sigh). This is the perfect breakfast for us - so will be doing it. Love your take on Anne-Sophie - the rebellious chef! 

  16. This puts my normal boring french toast to shame. 

  17. I love French toast make with Brioche. Tried it with Panettone, too. Delicious! I think I'll have it tomorrow. Merci!

  18. Yeah, 4 FAT slices of brioche, that's what I'm talking about! This looks like what I should eat this weekend, wait not should, will!!
    Take care..

  19. I love that you post so many wonderful breakfast recipes.  Watch out though.  One day I might wind up on your doorstep in my pajamas. 

  20. Growing up around all that food, you know she HAD to become a pretty good cook.  Nothing like waking up to some delicious french toast for breakfast.  And with can't lose.

  21. That brioche makes that French toast completely decadent. The maple syrup would be perfect but I love the idea of using the pumpkin jam you made too. ;-)