Simple, quick to make, and low in calories, crêpes are an iconic dish from Brittany. There is no right or wrong time to enjoy them, and from savory (the renowned buckwheat galette) to sweet (made with plain wheat flour), they can be twisted to suit all tastes! In February, crêpes are in the spotlight for Candlemas (la Chandeleur in French), a celebration with religious and pagan roots. According to tradition, crêpes should be made to promote fertility and prosperity in the home, and flipping a crêpe while holding a coin in the left hand – preferably a Louis d’or – is supposed to bring good luck!
In an effort to “introduce the world to Brittany, its culture, and the quality of its products,” Bertrand Larcher opened his first creperie in Tokyo in 1996. The Breton entrepreneur, who trained at the Dinard hospitality school, is now at the head of the Breizh (“Brittany” in Breton) Café empire, boasting some 15 restaurants in France and Japan, a gourmet market in Paris, a cider bar (with more than 60 varieties on the menu) in Saint-Malo, and a hotel in Cancale with views over Mont Saint-Michel Bay. He has also published two recipe books, launched an organic farm in the Breton countryside, where he grows his own buckwheat and cider apples, and opened a professional crêpe school.
The company’s motto is “Crêpes, but different.” From the simplest (crêpes with butter and brown sugar) to the most complex (galettes with salmon roe and maki-style crêpe rolls with strawberries and a white chocolate and matcha mousse), Bertrand Larcher the traveling chef combines local ingredients and exotic influences without ever losing sight of his native Brittany. The ocean offers an obvious link between Saint-Malo and Tokyo. “Our constantly changing menu combines French and Japanese gastronomy,” he says. “Particularly in terms of seafood and buckwheat.”
Exclusively for France-Amérique, Breizh Café has shared the recipe for a dessert set to arrive in their restaurants very soon: a Tatin apple crêpe topped with a buckwheat crumble and a scoop of Madagascan vanilla ice cream drizzled with salted butter caramel – a Breton version of the renowned Tarte Tatin!