A chef cooks with a pan on fire

What is Flambé?

Culinary Arts students learn this traditional French technique at ICE

Whether it’s a show-stopping squash centerpiece or a traditional Coq au Vin, the flambé technique is applicable to an array of dishes. (Plus, who doesn’t love setting food aflame?)

What is flambé?

Meaning “flamed” in French, flambé is the process of adding alcohol, typically Cognac or rum, to a hot pan and then lighting it on fire. While the alcohol cooks off, the sauce reduces and provides a caramelization or maillard reaction to the dish.

How do you safely flambé?

Since you are literally setting food on fire, it’s important to take necessary precautions.

“Take your pan away from the flame, add your Brandy, put it back and let it go,” says ICE’s Director of Culinary Affairs, Hervé Malivert.

His preferred flambé liquors are Cognac, Brandy and whiskey — and in that order.

What recipes use flambé?

Bananas Foster, Cherries Jubilee and Crêpes Suzette are some of the more quintessential flambéed dishes that were made popular by being served tableside.

Students in ICE’s Culinary Arts program are taught how to flambé when making pan sauces, including Lobster Américaine, which features a sauce of onions, tomatoes, white wine, cayenne, butter and fish stock, finished with brandy.

More like this:  Essential Restaurant Terminology You Should Know

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