Discover Crêpes

Everything you ever wanted to know about crêpes but didn't know who to ask!

The Origins of Crêpes Suzette

A popular story holds that French chef Henri Charpentier created Crêpes Suzette when he was a young man working at the Café de Paris in Monaco. One evening in 1895 the Prince of Wales—the future King Edward VII of England—was dining at the restaurant. According to Charpentier, while serving dessert he accidentally ignited the orange-flavored sauce, creating, in his words, “the most delicious melody of sweet flavors I had every tasted.” The following day, Charpentier writes in his memoirs, the Prince sent him a “jeweled ring, a panama hat and a cane” in appreciation for the spectacular dessert.

A variation of this story suggests that one evening the Prince requested a crêpe for dessert. Responding to the desire of the esteemed guest, Charpentier hurried to the kitchen and intentionally prepared a crêpe with an orange liqueur sauce flambé. The Prince may have named the rich flaming crêpes for a guest at his table named Suzette, who may (or may not) have been his mistress.

In an entirely different version of the origin of Crêpes Suzette, credit goes to Monsieur Joseph, proprietor of the Restaurant Marvaux in London. According to this story, M. Joseph provided crêpes for performances of the Comedie Française in 1897. The crêpes were served flambé, both to attract the attention of the audience and to warm the crêpes for the actors. M. Joseph named the fiery dessert after Suzanne Richardson, known professionally as Suzette, who played a maid in the show. According to Susan Scott, the archivist for the Savoy Hotel in London, both Joseph and Charpentier eventually worked at the Savoy. Perhaps, Scott posits, Joseph developed the liqueur-laced orange-flavored sauce and Charpentier accidently set it on fire as he cooked crêpes for the Prince.