Chef Vincenzo Betulia Revives Baked Alaska at The French

Despite his Sicilian roots, chef Vincenzo Betulia is reviving classic Gallic dishes at The French on Fifth Avenue South. One of those is Baked Alaska (aka Alaska Bombe or Frozen Florida), a dessert that originated in the nineteenth century. In Betulia’s version, house-made, no-churn cherry ice cream is encased in devil’s food cake, covered with meringue, and placed in the freezer to set. When ordered, the meringue is caramelized with a blowtorch, and the dessert is set ablaze in the dining room with 151-proof white rum. “It appeals to our older clientele who remember it, while it gives the newer generation something they’ve never experienced,” says Betulia. “Once customers see it, it sets off a chain reaction and everyone wants it.” (

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