Tarte Flambé. Photography by Jesse J Sutherland

Vive la France!

Celebrate Bastille Day with a classic tarte flambé at Bouchon

Francophiles, rejoice! Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s bistro at The Venetian, is celebrating Bastille Day on July 14 with a special happy hour menu from 3-10 p.m. In addition to classic and traditional French fare for which the bistro is known, tarte flambé, truffle fries, plate de saucisson and oysters specials will be featured.

The holiday is a big draw for the local community in Yountville, California, home of the original Bouchon, where it’s been celebrated for 14 years. This is the second year The Venetian outpost is marking the historic occasion. “Expanding the celebration to include our guests at Bouchon Beverly Hills and Bouchon at The Venetian in Las Vegas simply allows us to further the celebration of France and French traditions in America. That is what Bouchon is all about,” Keller says.

Rated got a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the classic tarte flambé from Bouchon’s chef de cuisine, Joshua Crain. After giving us a tour of the kitchen at The Venetian, he got down to business and showed us exactly what makes Bouchon’s version so memorable.

Chef Crain starts with a baguette dough, lightly dusted with flour and rolled in a rectangular shape. Once the dough is rolled out, it is stretched over a sheet pan that’s been brushed with garlic oil. (Although you don’t have to use the oil, it adds a flavor profile to the dough.) A layer of crème fraîche is added—“Its acidity and creaminess balance the bacon,” Chef Crain says—then chopped-up bacon, caramelized onions, Comté cheese and fresh thyme leaves.

In it goes into a 480-degree oven for 10 minutes; after that, Chef Crain checks for bubbles in the dough, and then puts it back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. He removes the tarte from the sheet pan and places it directly on the oven deck, where it will cook 3-5 minutes longer until the dough is perfectly browned. He finishes with some fleur de sel and minced chives, and voilà, the perfect tarte flambé.

While this may look easy enough to make yourself, Bouchon’s version is worth a visit to the bistro. The magic is in the details: The onions are caramelized for 48 hours, and the baguette dough is from the same recipe Bouchon uses in its bakery. If you can’t be in France on Bastille Day, this is the next best thing. Bon appétit!

 In The Venetian, 702.414.6200; bouchonbistro.com/lasvegas