There are few desserts that have such regal beginnings, but the crêpe suzette happens to be one. What started as a mistake turned into a legendary dish, created by Henri Charpentier in 1895 while preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII of England. As Henri worked in front of a chafing dish, the liquor on the crêpe accidentally caught fire. Ironically the accidental flame was exactly what the dish needed, and so the crêpe suzette was born.
The Ritz’s crêpe suzette has been an item on the menu of the world-famous hotel restaurant for more than a century – evidence of its popularity and celebrity status. As a bastion of old-school grandeur and glamour, The Ritz restaurant in London has been serving up crêpes, alongside other fine French cuisine, since 1907. It has played host to many historic events over its lifetime, from hosting the wedding breakfast for Prince Charles and Lady Di, to acting as a base for military operations during the Second World War. To this day The Ritz remains iconic, a throwback to the allure of classic French cuisine, impeccable table service and gilded chandeliers.
One of the hallmarks of the Ritz Restaurant is its theatrics and dedication to the art of tableside service. The guéridon style of service used for the Arts de la Table dishes, including the famous crêpe suzette, showcase the very highest level of technical expertise from the service team, and their harmony with the kitchen brigade. Here the crêpe is laid on a silver platter, doused in Grand Marnier and flambéd at the table to create a spectacle.
While making the dish in the traditional black and white Ritz uniforms is optional, a good non-stick pan is essential for delicate and uniform crêpes.