The Whimsical, Modern French Cuisine of Atelier Crenn [Thoughts + Pics]



To really enjoy Crenn, one has to get Crenn. In other words, you have to share her vision of culinary avant garde intrepidness. Her food is both inventive and whimsical. In this way, Atelier Crenn is a bit like Vespertine-lite. Is it bad food? Of course not. But to truly enjoy and revel in all that Atelier is trying to offer, you really have to be smoking the same crack pipe that she is.

Saison, on the other hand, is just more solid, and (to borrow a hiptster food-blog phrase) “delicious-forward” …

Good review as always.


The bread + beef fat is seriously AMAZING-looking. :smiley:

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Hi @ipsedixit,

Thanks. Yah, it was my first time experiencing any of her cooking. Definitely different at times, but some dishes were standouts.

And definitely love Saison more. :slight_smile: Thanks.

Great report @Chowseeker1999. Chef Juan Contreras is really a wizard at dessert. I can still remember my pear dessert I had there years ago. Probably the best and most original dessert courses I’ve ever had.


Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

Yah I never imagined eating fresh-baked Brioche + A5 Wagyu Beef Fat as a spread… but it was really, really good. :smile: Thanks.

Thanks @PorkyBelly. Your pear dessert sounds like it was pretty fantastic. :slight_smile: Were they serving the Brioche + A5 Wagyu Beef Fat on your last visit? Just curious how the courses have changed over the years.

A lot of those are more recognizable as food than some of the dishes I saw the first year or two she was open.

Once when she was a team coach on Top Chef she persuaded one of the contestants to serve fried corn silk, which Colicchio said was like hair pulled from a drain.

Hi @robert,

Interesting, thanks. :slight_smile: I never saw her earlier menu, but I guess it’s a good thing her food is moving towards something more recognizable.

Curious if you’ve tried Petit Crenn and how it compares to Atelier Crenn?

Petit Crenn is on my list of places to try. It serves relatively traditional French dishes and there’s an a la carte bar menu.

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Great report, @Chowseeker1999! I also had a pear dessert before, likely the one that @PorkyBelly is referring to, and also some eucalyptus ice cream - those were probably the strongest dishes I’ve had there. They briefly even did a dessert tasting menu, which was great for dates. I haven’t been to Crenn in quite a while but I don’t ever remember seeing the brioche + wagyu fat. Your meal seems even more overtly Japanese inspired and a little bit less whimsical then when I last ate there several years ago.


“more recognizable as food” That’s funny.

Was the contestant asked to pack his/her knives?

Thanks for the great report @Chowseeker1999.

It looks fun and imaginative, maybe not as “delicious-forward” (funny btw), but fun.

I think you and I have similar feelings about steak - we enjoy a nice charred, juicy steak, but it’s not our go to protein. With that said I am not a huge fan of Wagyu. My husband the steak man loves it, but for me it has a little too much chew. Do you think that was the case with this or it just wasn’t a good piece? And thank goodness the fish sauce wasn’t highlighted :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:. That’s taking the fish sauce on everything trend too far.

Keep Seeking!

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We got served brioche but i don’t remember it coming with beef fat. fwiw I enjoyed atelier crenn better than petit crenn.


He had immunity and declined Pepin’s suggestion that he resign.

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Pepin and Crenn. That sounds like a good episode. Was it an old one or am I behind?

Hi @TheCookie,

Thanks. Yah this was a case of just a bad cut. If you haven’t tried it yet, CUT’s A5 is amazing and a better example of a good preparation.

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Okay, got it.

Hah, I’ve been wanting to post on your CUT thread. We went again recently and definitely have thoughts. Still eating and thinking, but not so much reporting. Will soon…

:fork_and_knife: :cut_of_meat:


Wagyu shouldn’t be chewy at all. An example of the purest form of this can be enjoyed at Shibumi in Los Angeles (and probably other spots, of which I am ignorant), where they serve A5 Miyazaki as sashimi. The raw meat itself is like beefy butter properly sourced and sliced, wrapped up in nori with a touch of salt, it’s rather great.

I am guessing that when places mess it up and it is overly chewy, they failed to slice a good cut of the meat and/or failed in the sourcing some other way when working with the meat.

season 11, episode 13

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