by Steven Doyle
Certain aspects of crepe-making have remained constant since its advent in the 1100s, spreading the batter onto a very hot surface for 30 to 60 seconds, each side is cooked until it looks like the surface of the moon.
Sweet and savory versions have always existed; traditionally lemon and sugar, and ham, cheese, and egg.
In 1895, grand chef Henri Charpentier (nephew of Escoffier) worked for the Café de Paris in Monaco, where he helped make the crepe an important food in the fine restaurant.
One evening, the Prince of Wales dined at the Café de Paris, and requested a luxurious crepe dessert. In a moment of inspiration, Charpentier threw some orange and brandy onto a crepe and lit the whole thing on fire. The iconic crepe Suzette was born, and named after the Prince’s dinner guest that evening.
In Dallas our most famous creperie is Whisk, located in Sylvan|Thirty where Julien Eelsen created his own piece of the French sidewalk experience in his 20 seat, 645 sqf restaurant.
Julien’s love for cooking started at an early age. He remembers sweet memories of picking gooseberries, strawberries and rhubarb with his grandma and aunt to make the jams for the crêpes. While living in Paris, Julien hosted underground dinners for 10 to 50 guests and hosted parties for his friends and family.
“Since moving to the United States from Paris, I’ve wanted to bring the traditional French crepe experience to my new hometown. After touring Sylvan | Thirty, I knew that my concept would be a great addition to the development,” said Eelsen, who was raised in Paris and has a family history of hotels and restaurants in the Normandy region.
“My hope is that Whisk’s crepes, beverages and authentic atmosphere will transport people’s imaginations to a leisurely afternoon at a Parisian sidewalk cafe,” added Eelsen.
And it does.
You may find Eelsen in Sylvan|Thirty or at his newest landmark located in Plano at Legacy Hall. Each location you will discover treats such as crepes with French ham, Gruyere and sunny side up eggs served with generous toppings of crème fraiche and chives. Or enjoy lemon curd, strawberries, whipped cream, cookies and fresh mint.