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Savory and Sweet Soufflés are Rising in Dallas

By S. Mathur

Creative Founder and Owner Hedda Gioia Dowd has always regarded a soufflé as a complete meal: "My earliest recollection eating souffle's was around the age of five at my Grandmothers home in France . The savory ones were the main course accompanied by a fresh salad with things that had been sourced from the garden. We were completely satisfied and nourished. MY only request afterwards was prior to going to bed to have the treat of peeking into her magnificent tin "Boîte au Chocolat" which held a variety equal to any Swiss shop!"

Though most Americans think of soufflés as a sweet, there are savory ones as well, using ingredients such as cheese, ham and vegetables. Dowd recalls that "The tradition of eating souffle's continued all my life in my parents home, as my French mother, an outstanding cook, made both a wide variety of savory: crabmeat, spinach, jambon and gruyere, champigon, and many classical dessert souffles as well."

The egg-based dish has been eaten in France since the18th century. Rise offers savory soufflés with lobster, truffle and mushroom, cauliflower and Brie, ham and Gruyere, and smoked salmon. Since they are so light, there's room for the delicious desserts. Dowd says, "As far as the Desserts? No arm twisting needed! Weather our guests are male, female, 2 years of age or 92 the awe is instant. The WOW factor is the same from every corner of the globe. The egg is a WHOLE food then and now. Some things never change and perhaps we all need this now more than ever."

Sweet soufflés come in flavors such as the traditional Grand Marnier, apricot, bread pudding, strawberry, blueberry, and dark mint chocolate. As well as the perennial favorites, some flavors change with the seasons, like pumpkin, key lime, bananas foster, chestnut, or oyster Rockefeller, crawfish, and crabmeat. A unique menu item is the marshmallow soup, specially created by Chef Brahmi. The combination of tomato, carrot, goat cheese and pesto is always in demand, he says: "It can be 102º outside or 32º and everyone wants it!"

Inside, twinkling lights on trees create a romantic atmosphere. Dowd's antique collection supplies the furniture and dinnerware, as well as the decorations. The tables are converted wooden kids' school desks from France, and kitchen towels or torchons serve as wall decor. Another charming touch is provided by the scrabble boards at every table. The covered patio is heated or cooled according to the season and is always a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the meal.

Guests can take home Rise souvenirs like aprons, torchons and glassware, as well as the cookbook Rise to the Occasion. Rise has been so popular that two new locations are in the works, in Houston and Fort Worth. Was it a successful decision to open the restaurant in Dallas? Dowd's response is "A resounding OUI!"

For even more information about Rise or to view their menu, feel free to visit their site at www.risesouffle.com.

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