Chef Patrice Perron of LA Cuisine in Ocala, Florida, shares one of his favorite recipes

French toast – served at LA Cuisine’s Sunday Brunch

Ingredients

6 thick Brioche slices or French bread
2 eggs
¼ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or orange-blossom water
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of butter

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla extract, salt, and Grand Marnier or orange-blossom water.
3. Place bread slices in egg mixture and soak, turning to coat, until bread is completely saturated.
4. Melt butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.Working in batches, cook bread in hot butter until golden, about three minutes per side.
5. Transfer toasted bread to a baking sheet and bake in oven until outside is crisp and slightly puffed, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Tip: This recipe is better when the bread is dry. French toast originally was the meal of the poor, and people would use their stale bread this way.

Patrice Perron, executive chef and proprietor at La Cuisine, was born and raised in Lyon, a city known around the world as the French capital of gastronomy. The Perron family embraced its love of good food and good wine, making it a part of the family’s rich heri-tage and tradition. Perron’s father loved taking the family to the finest restaurants in town: La Tour Rose, Paul Bocuse, and Orsy. “As a child, I had no idea I was experiencing some of the finest food in the world,” he laughs. Things got serious once he started working at Daniel & Denise, a world-renowned, traditional French restaurant in Lyon. Under the direct tutelage of chef Josef Viola—a master chef who in 2004 was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France by a board of examiners, including world-famous chefs Joel Robuchon, Alain Ducasse, and Paul Bocuse—Perron began to thrive, and Viola became his men-tor. “Viola was fascinated that my wife and I wanted to come to America to start a French restaurant, and he helped me a lot just by encouraging me to do so,” Perron fondly recalls. Perron and his wife, Elodie, have been awarded three Golden Spoon Awards from Florida Trend magazine, six years in a row.