Community Philosphy Blog and Library

Sensory Overload: M. Ward and Jim James’ Ode To Créme Brûlée

This series explores the intersection one of nature’s perfect pairings – music and food – and the artists who are eating well and living HOMEGROWN on the road.

Créme brûlée is a decadent, creamy, crackly-crusted custard that has its origins with fire-and-sugar-happy French gourmands. Musicians and oft collaborators M. Ward and Jim James (My Morning Jacket, Monsters of Folk) seem to have been on a brief, obsessive hunt for the best créme brûlée on the planet. The online account of their findings is The Créme-Brû-log.


j. james

i am in a forest of cream. my feet sink into sopping wet puddles of deliciousness with every step forward…all around me are trees of sugared caramel all covered in sweet lace burnt amber leaves…i see a volcano explode from afar-at first i am frozen with terror but then i remember that i am a magic child and i have the ability to freeze the lava flames and turn them into sugar! i walk across the creamy forest up to the frozen lava flame and crack off a piece, popping it onto my tongue- sublime! i notice at the bottom of the sugar flame a melted pool of caramel connects it to the earth…i dip my finger in for a taste and i am at the county fair now eating the greatest caramel apple on a stick- perfection! i notice two hummingbirds sitting on the shoulders of a younger mark twain as he licks the caramel off the bottom of his brulee… and for the first time the idea of huckleberry finn pops into his mind and he smiles with the knowledge of future success. he notices me and holds up his brulee in a “cheers” gesture- which i return- thrusting my brulee high into the air in mutual celebration. ladies and gentleman we have found the standard to which all brulee shall be held up to and judged against- the fabulous creation of pastry chef angela reynolds at nashville’s miel restaurant.

The most delectable Miel créme brûlée. Against which all other are judged.

Créme Brûlée recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School:


 For Custard

4 cups heavy cream

3/4 cups sugar

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

7 large egg yolks

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

For Topping

3/4 cup sugar

Directions continued

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