All French Toast Should Come in Brick Form
Brique chef Raquel “Rocky” Rockquemore-Breiz shares the story behind her decadent creations.
When Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson has a cheat day, French toast is involved. But don’t expect your standard, potentially soggy slices of white bread. His French toast comes in brick form—a creation of one of his private chefs, Raquel “Rocky” Rockquemore-Breiz.
“I was already making thick cut French toast for my family and friends and when I started working for Dwayne, he asked for French toast as one of his cheat meals but specified he wanted bigger French toast,” Rockquemore-Breiz explains. She was thrilled, as she already had a reliable recipe up her sleeve. All that changed were the toppings. “There’s no rules in his cheat meals as opposed to his regular weekly diet, so I would do a Teremana-infused whipped cream and coconut chips, and play around with the syrups until the peanut butter coconut syrup happened.”
Johnson began sharing photos of the decadent French toast, piled high with a mountain of whipped cream and dripping with syrup, and people began noticing—and inquiring. The demand and interest were so great that Breiz, alongside her husband Daniel who is also a private chef, decided to host pop-ups and make their brand, Brique, official in 2020. Their pop-ups traveled along the California coast and even made its way to Hawaii and Las Vegas, where the combination of coconut, peanut butter, and brioche was firmly welcomed.
Prior to getting their current brick-and-mortar, the duo were slinging French toast in front of their homes. “We had a nice operation going, but it was too much for the neighbors,” Breiz laughs. “And I didn’t want people just knowing where we live, or getting stalkers,” Rockquemore-Breiz adds.
Instead, the pair decided to take the plunge and sign on to a location at Los Angeles’s Westfield Century City, a posh mall often visited by Hollywood stars. Chrissy Teigen has even stopped by and shared her approval.
Although Brique might be reminiscent of Shibuya honey toast in shape and stature, the two are quite different. “We didn't really know that it was a thing until customers started coming in and asking us if this was from Japan,” Breiz says. While they’re both bread cubes, the preparation and toppings are dissimilar. Shibuya toast is typically hollowed out and filled with additions like ice cream, fresh fruit, and rolled wafers before being drizzled with honey. Brique is in its own category.
The French toast at Brique starts with a generous cube of brioche, buttery and feathery on the inside. It’s dipped in a custard bath—enough to get a sweet cinnamon coating without being overly eggy—and griddled until golden brown.
The base of a Brique French toast is impressive as is, but the toppings enhance the dish tenfold. The vanilla bean whipped cream is fluffy, with actual identifiable flecks of vanilla bean. The peanut butter coconut maple syrup toes the line between sweet and savory and the nuttiness prevents the ensemble from becoming cloying.
Lastly, a sprinkle of coconut chips provides crunch and another layer of tropical flavor. Every component is thoughtfully mapped and the results are immensely pleasurable.
The combination of ingredients was solidified by Johnson, whose go-to flavors are always peanut butter, coconut, and bananas. “He’s been so supportive,” Rockquemore-Breiz smiles, which is why they decided to call their creation the Rock Toast. It also helps that Rockquemore-Breiz goes by Chef Rocky.
Although the Rock Toast is currently the only item available on the menu, the pair are constantly experimenting with new flavors and infused syrups. That being said, they know they’ve found a winner with the Rock Toast. “Customers call it the Louis Vuitton of French toast,” Breiz laughs—but its decadence makes this moniker pretty spot on.