For centuries, eggs have been the ingredient of choice for cooks to show what they can do. Endlessly flexible and always delicious, how a chef cooks an egg can tell you everything you need to know about the food they will serve. There’s a reason why many chefs insisted that new recruits cook an omelette before they were finally hired.
Even with centuries of recipes to fall back on, chefs are still today coming up with new ways to serve an egg. These can range from deceptively simple to incredibly complex. For eggheads out there, these dishes make the ultimate cluck-et list. These are the x most unbelievable egg dishes ever created.
1. L’Arpege Egg
It might be one of the most famous fine dining dishes in the world, but the L’Arpege egg is actually surprisingly simple. A runny, perfectly poached egg yolk is buried underneath a layer of sherry-infused cream in Alain Passard’s legendary riff on the soft boiled breakfast classic. As inspirational as it is tasty, this dish shows that any egg can be incredibly classy.
2. Inside-Out Truffled Egg
Eggs and truffles are a tried and tested combination, and no recipe exemplifies the pairing quite like chef Eneko Atxa’s “Truffled egg cooked inside-out”. To prepare the dish, a yolk is placed on a silver spoon, before half its content is extracted by syringe. A warm truffle consomme is then carefully injected into the deflated yolk, cooking the remaining liquid and providing a delicious, indulgent mouthful.
3. The hen and the egg
As the head chef of Noma, it should surprise no one that Rene Redzepi has devoted significant thought to the problem of the egg. The result is astonishing. Guests are presented with a hot plate on a bed of hay, before being instructed to cook the egg themselves, adding butter, hay oil and wild flowers to the plate, before a Noma chef arrives tableside to top off the dish with a wild herb sauce.
4. Eggs Benedict
Known as one of the most creative chefs in the industry, Wylie Dufresne is also famous for adoring eggs. His riff on the classic breakfast dish couldn’t look more different from a stereotypical eggs benedict, but the relationship is obvious in the eating. A cooked egg yolk sausage is smeared on the plate, before ham crisps and fried hollandaise croquettes added to the mix.
5. Momofuku Egg
At his two-Michelin starred New York restaurant “Ko”, chef David Chang wanted to serve guests with an egg dish that encapsulated his fusion-centric attitude to food. A combination of fried onions, slow cooked hen’s egg, caviar and potato crisps, the dish is deceptively straightforward and incredibly tasty.
6. Cloud Eggs
They might have become the scourge of Instagram feeds everywhere, but there’s no doubt that cloud eggs have earned their place on this list. Despite their recent surge in popularity, cloud eggs have actually been around since the mid-seventeenth century, having been included in a famous French cookbook under the sobriquet “eggs in snow”.
7. Golden Eggs
When it was open, Ferran Adria’s El Bulli kitchen was responsible for dictating the fine dining agenda all over the world. Pioneering techniques that have since become staples, El Bulli was one of the world’s great restaurants. Their egg recipe is, understandably, iconic. Featuring a quail’s egg wrapped in a thin cloak of gold-dusted caramel, this plate of food elevates the humble egg to new heights.
You don’t have to do too much to an egg to make it utterly irresistible. Give anyone a breakfast of scrambled eggs or dippy soldiers and you’re sure to make a friend for life. But, as these dishes show, there’s so much more to eggs than the tried and tested staples. In the right hands, they can become something truly epic.