Like many of the world's great foods, tarte flambée started out as a working-class dish—in this case a flatbread cooked in wood-fired ovens by farmers in Alsace. One of our favorite chefs from that French region, Gabriel Kreuther, serves a spectacular version in the Bar Room of the Modern in Manhattan.
Brie Fermier, from Ferme de Jouvence (Farm of Rejuvenation), a small dairy near Versailles, France, is everything brie was meant to be: It has an assertive mushroomy flavor, with notes of garlic and hay, and a luscious and silken body.
"The fine arts are five in number," wrote the chef Marie-Antoine Carême, "painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and architecture—whereof the principle branch is confectionery." He knew what he was talking about. After all, he created croquembouche, a spire of caramelized cream puffs.