Sweet Endings: Chef Henry Butcher's Bread Pudding

Kristen Schmidt

Chef Henry Butcher has a thing for bread pudding-he'll try it anywhere, even when it's made with doughnuts or croissants. But for his customers, only one version will do. Butcher's grandmother made a classic bread pudding with French and Italian bread ("It's chewy, and it holds the flavor better," Butcher says), equal parts white and brown sugar, vanilla, raisins, spices and eggs. Then Butcher adds lemon zest to brighten the flavors. The bourbon-butter sauce he serves with the bread pudding is a variation on his grandmother's, too. "She wasn't using bourbon because we was in the country," he says. "She used brown moonshine." The family would indulge in this treat on Sundays after church in Louisiana, at the end of a meal that started with fried chicken or smothered pork chops. "That's the only bread pudding I know," Butcher says.