Exploring the Tradition of Tableside Cherries Jubilee in Fine Dining

Exploring the Tradition of Tableside Cherries Jubilee in Fine Dining

In the world of fine dining, there are certain traditions that have stood the test of time, captivating diners with both their delicious flavors and impressive presentation. One such tradition is the tableside preparation of Cherries Jubilee. This classic dessert, typically made with cherries flambeed in brandy and served over vanilla ice cream, has been a staple in upscale restaurants for decades. Join us as we delve into the history and allure of this timeless dish, and discover why it continues to be a favorite among diners seeking a truly decadent dining experience.

History of Tableside Cherries Jubilee

Cherries Jubilee is a classic dessert that has been enjoyed for centuries, but the tradition of preparing it tableside in fine dining establishments is a more recent phenomenon.

Origin of Cherries Jubilee

Cherries Jubilee is said to have been created by the famous French chef Auguste Escoffier in the late 19th century. The dessert consists of cherries flambeed in a sweet syrup, often with a touch of liqueur, and served over vanilla ice cream. Escoffier reportedly created the dish in honor of Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations.

Evolution of Tableside Preparation

While Cherries Jubilee has been a popular dessert for many years, the practice of preparing it tableside in fine dining restaurants is a more modern development. This interactive and theatrical approach to dessert service adds a touch of flair and elegance to the dining experience, making it a favorite among diners looking for a special treat.

Popularity in Fine Dining

Tableside Cherries Jubilee has become a signature dessert in many high-end restaurants, where skilled servers flambee the cherries in front of guests, creating a spectacle that adds to the overall dining experience. The combination of sweet, juicy cherries and fiery flambe makes for a memorable end to a meal, and has helped to solidify Cherries Jubilee’s place as a classic dessert in the world of fine dining.

Ingredients and Preparation

Key Ingredients

  • Fresh cherries
  • Sugar
  • Brandy or Kirsch
  • Vanilla ice cream

Preparation Process

  1. Begin by pitting the cherries and cutting them in half.
  2. In a pan, combine the cherries with sugar and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the cherries are soft.
  3. Add the brandy or kirsch to the pan and carefully ignite it with a match to flambe the cherries.
  4. Let the flames die down, then spoon the cherries over scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Flambé Technique

  • When flambeing the cherries, it is important to carefully tilt the pan towards the flame to ignite the alcohol vapors without any spillage.
  • Keep a lid or fire extinguisher nearby in case the flames get too high.
  • The flambe technique not only adds a dramatic flair to the dish but also enhances the flavor by caramelizing the sugars and infusing the cherries with the brandy or kirsch.

    Presentation and Serving

In fine dining establishments, the tradition of serving cherries jubilee tableside adds an element of elegance and sophistication to the dining experience. The presentation of this classic dessert typically involves a skilled server preparing and flambeing the dish right in front of the diners. This not only creates a visually stunning display but also enhances the overall enjoyment of the dessert.

Tableside Flambeing

One of the most captivating aspects of cherries jubilee is the flambeing process that takes place tableside. The server will typically heat a combination of cherries, sugar, and liqueur in a pan, then ignite the mixture to create a dramatic burst of flames. This not only caramelizes the sugars and intensifies the flavors but also adds a touch of excitement to the dining experience.


Cherries jubilee is often served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to balance out the sweetness of the cherries and liqueur. The cool, creamy accompaniment provides a refreshing contrast to the warm, flambeed cherries, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

Serving Etiquette

When cherries jubilee is served tableside, diners should observe proper etiquette to fully appreciate the experience. This includes refraining from reaching over the flame or attempting to touch the pan during the flambeing process. Diners should also wait patiently for the server to finish preparing the dish before indulging in its delectable flavors.

In conclusion, the tradition of tableside Cherries Jubilee in fine dining establishments is a timeless and elegant experience that continues to captivate diners around the world. From the dramatic flambéing of the cherries to the sweet and tangy flavors of the dessert, this classic dish provides a memorable and interactive dining experience that is sure to delight both food enthusiasts and those looking for a touch of nostalgia. Whether enjoyed as a special treat or as a grand finale to a luxurious meal, Cherries Jubilee is a true testament to the artistry and sophistication of fine dining.

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