At nourish, we are huge fans of Flam-kuche – a speciality very thin flatbread that comes from the Alsace region of France – so we were excited to visit Alex and Regis Crepy of Amelie Restaurant in Cambridge, who have taken a residency at the Cambridge Cookery School and Café. And we just had to try an authentic Flam-kuche while we were there…
“Our goal is to introduce Flam-kuche to the UK!” says Alex, as we meet him at the Cambridge Cookery School and Café on Purbeck Road. “We opened Amelie Restaurant in The Grafton in 2018, naming the restaurant after my sister, who is an artist. Our parents are French, and through my father especially, we have a strong culinary background. We are very excited to be here, running this café, at the invitation of Tine Roche, who owns the school.”
The culinary background Alex refers to is primarily his father, Regis. For over 30 years, Regis owned fine dining restaurants in Suffolk, including The Great House in Lavenham, Mariners in Ipswich, and Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds, meaning Alex grew up around the hospitality industry. He would end up graduating in hospitality management from École Hôtelière de Lausanne before working with Gaucho Restaurants in London, managing several establishments and becoming one of its youngest managing partners.
“Flam-kuche is such a beautiful product, yet it is so simple,” continues Alex. “It is so thin and light, and it cooks in minutes. It is much healthier than a pizza, with just 127 calories in the base, and it is much more delicious in my opinion! The classic, authentic version is my favourite -with sliced onions, smoked bacon, gruyère cheese, and a crème fraîche base.”
Other Flam-kuche flavours offered by Alex and Regis, who spends his time in the kitchen cooking not only these Alsatian delights but also his signature onion tart and lemon tart, includes: roasted field mushrooms with sliced onions, garlic and parsley butter, and mozzarella; goat cheese with caramelised onion, beetroot, roasted pine nuts, rocket, and honey; and the rather tasty-looking slow cooked belly of pork with sliced onions, smoked bacon, gruyère cheese, and hoisin sauce. They come with a base of either crème fraîche or tomato sauce, with the former being more traditional.
“It is exciting to be running the two sites, and they attract different customers,” explains Alex. “We love the options being at the Cookery School gives us, with its outdoor seating and Scandinavian vibe. In the winter are planning to serve fondue, and we have an alcohol licence, meaning we can offer a true taste of Alsace. We are so grateful to Tine for the opportunity to come here.”
So, what of the food? We are both familiar with Flam-kuche, and we devour the authentic. It is so light and crispy, yet full of flavour. Regis sends out a slice of his onion tart for us to enjoy – still warm from the oven and so sweet with the slowly caramelised onions. The salad alongside, with its fresh French dressing, brings balance to the dish, and it is the perfect foil for the tart.
Writing this in summer, we can hardly wait for winter and to try their fondue; with Regis’ and Alex’s backgrounds, you just know it will be authentic – and unutterably good!