Valentine’s surprise for Daddy—with the chef from Four Seasons Washington DC

Valentine’s surprise for Daddy—with the chef from Four Seasons Washington DC

By on February 11th, 2012


Poshbrood just had the best playdate ever! We were so lucky to have Executive Chef Douglas Anderson of Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC come to our house to teach us how to make a special Valentine’s breakfast for Daddy… Shhhhh, don’t tell!

Chef Anderson was right at home in our Bethesda, Maryland kitchen when our three girls, plus a friend, came running off the school bus. I’ve never seen them so excited! We told the chef that Dad likes meat and eggs, and he whipped up an easy and delicious menu for us. We all washed our hands, of course, rolled up our sleeves and got ready to prepare Pork Sausage and Scrambled Egg Sliders and—get this—Smashed Chocolate Croissant French Toast (recipes below). The Smashed Chocolate Croissant French Toast is a signature dish at Four Seasons Washington, which they unveiled at the reopening of the hotel’s Seasons restaurant this week. We all squealed with delight.

Some of the girls were busy smashing the pain au chocolate, while others were learning the importance of quality Grand Marnier in the French Toast coating. (Important tip from Chef Anderson: Always add the Half-and-Half last so it doesn’t clump.) Everyone was able to crack an egg and stir a while. The oldest even got to stir the scrambled eggs on the stove until they thickened.

Chef Anderson told us about a special cheddar cheese made in a cave for the “sliders” (and he was gracious enough to leave it for mommy at the end of our playdate), then took us out to our grill, where we started cooking the pork sausages for the sliders. Back inside, we dipped the smashed French Toast into batter and greased up our griddle. Chef warmed the slider buns after the French Toast cooked, and then we helped assemble the sliders, layering the cheese and scrambled egg mixture onto the buns.

The breakfast was amazing—and so simple to make. Mommy ate a little bit more than appropriate, but in the name of research, of course. We’re excited to make it all by ourselves on Feb. 14 for our Valentine. Here are the recipes so you and your brood can make this at home—for any occasion, really. How about breakfast in bed for Mommy?

“Smashed” Chocolate Croissant French Toast with Raspberry Compote

Prepare the raspberry sauce as outlined below; set aside. Make the batter, then prepare the French Toast as outlined below. Garnish and serve immediately. Makes four portions.

Batter recipe

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup Half-and-Half cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon orange brandy

Mix sugar, cinnamon and brandy together. Let stand for half an hour, then add remaining ingredients and combine.

French Toast recipe

  • 8 chocolate croissants
  • 1 cup Nutella (hazelnut-chocolate spread)
  • Vermont maple syrup & whipped cream to garnish
  • Sea salt to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • Mint leaves to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top
  • Clarified butter for the griddle

Heat and butter the griddle. Flatten the croissants with your hand, then dip each into the batter, covering both sides, and cook over medium-low heat until golden brown and crispy. Place onto plates and spread each croissant with Nutella, then add a dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with sea salt, powdered sugar and mint leaves. Decorate creatively as desired with raspberry sauce. Serve warm with maple syrup on the side.

Quick Raspberry sauce recipe

  • 2 pints of fresh whole raspberries (or substitute with frozen)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Combine 1 pint of the berries and the sugar, and cook in a sauce pan over medium heat till soft. Purée in a blender and strain the seeds out. Place the purée back into a pan and add the other pinto of raspberries. Cook over medium heat for about four minutes. Cool.

Chef then taught the girls the importance of presentation for the plating of French Toast:

  1. A smear of Nutella to adhere the toast to the plate;
  2. Add two pieces of French Toast, one on top of the other, at right angles.
  3. Drizzle fresh raspberry compote on top of the French Toast.
  4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
  5. SECRET TIP (well, maybe not anymore): Sprinkle with a little sea salt to cut the sweetness.
  6. Add a spring of mint to garnish.

Breakfast Sliders with Sausage Patties, Cloth-bound Cheddar Cheese & Scrambled Eggs

  • 3 2-ounce fresh sausage patties
  • Shaved cloth-bound Cabot cheddar cheese (or any cheddar as an alternative), about one handful
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Chives to taste
  • Clarified butter for cooking
  • 3 mini bun “sliders” (sliced in half if not already in two pieces)

Wash, dry and chop the chives; set aside. Shave off a handful of the cheddar and set aside. Grill the sausage patties, browning on both sides, and when done, melt the cheese on top of the patties. Right before patties are ready, toast the buns. Crack the eggs into a small bowl, pour in the milk and whip briefly with a whisk. Pour egg mixture onto a frying pan pre-greased with clarified butter, heated over medium, and scramble the eggs. Add in the chives just as the eggs are nearly cooked. Place each patty with cheese on the bottom bun and top with chive scrambled eggs. Put on the bun top and skewer to keep in place. Serve immediately while still warm. Serves one hungry daddy.

Voila! The beautiful, easy and delish Valentine’s Breakfast for Daddy was complete. Now was the best part: eating! You can see in the photos that everyone was enjoying both the sliders and French Toast thoroughly. Lucy asked the chef: “Are you famous?” Then the four girls in unison proclaimed, “You are the best chef ever!”

Post Author
Elizabeth Thorp

Elizabeth Thorp has been navigating public affairs in Washington, D.C. for 19 years—although no amount of crisis management can prepare you for a happily hectic household with three young divas. Elizabeth is also a lifestyle and travel writer for The Huffington Post, Capitol File Magazine and Babble.com. She saw the need for a one-stop “word of mom” family travel site, so she launched Poshbrood.com, a curated catalog of upscale family-friendly hotels, inns, resorts, villas and cottages. Elizabeth lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband, Almus, and daughters, Isabelle, Lucy and Penelope.

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1 Response(s) to "Valentine’s surprise for Daddy—with the chef from Four Seasons Washington DC"
Benjamin says:
February 25, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I’m here for the Raspberry recipe, I’d like to try the recipe but I don’t have the effort when looking for raspberries. I have a few black berries in the back will they do?


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