(Photography by Erik Kellar)

Taste


The Queen, The Cat, The Chef and her Crème Brûlée

Just in time for the debut of her new event space at Dim Jandy Ranch, Fort Myers chef Gloria M. Jordan-Cabral shares a royal dessert recipe.

A queen and a cat inspired Gloria M. Jordan-Cabral to create this crème brûlée recipe, which she first made in Sweden and occasionally serves as a special dessert at her roundly applauded La Trattoria Napoli—more commonly known by local fans simply as Gloria’s—in Fort Myers. She was a long distance from her Cuban homeland in many ways. “It was too cold and quite far from my culture,” Jordan-Cabral remembers. She had shifted gears from an education in architectural drafting to attend the culinary program at Uppsala University, an hour outside of  Stockholm. For her first job at the five-star Grand Hotel, she was tasked with creating a dessert for Queen Silvia and King Carl XVI, who would be attending dinner. The challenge: It had to be something the queen had never tasted before. A queen, a cat and a legendary hotel near Stockholm Palace: It has all the makings of a fairy tale, with Jordan-Cabral in the role of the expat kitchen girl in her early 20s. Fellow workers likened her to Babette, from the Isak Dinesen novella, Babette's Feast, about a feisty French girl who shook up the staid cuisine of Scandinavia. “I was Babette with Latino flair,” she says, with characteristic good humor. After studying the hotel’s archives of desserts previously served to the royal co
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