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
butter

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 women...one 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?

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