Pithivier is a stalwart of the Escoffier era of French cooking. This famous pie is made from two discs of puff pastry with filling in the middle, formed into a traditional mounded shape, with the top crust always brushed with egg then scored in a spiral pattern. Although the filling was nearly always sweet – a mix of frangipane made with almond paste, occasionally savoury ingredients were used. A pithivier is not correctly a ‘pie’, though the two layers of pastry would suggest this is so. Rather more, this French classic has its own uniqueness. It looks sensational as a dinner party piece and with a savoury filling, makes great eating for the cold days. At Kelly’s Resort and Spa in Wexford, Executive Head Chef Eugene Callaghan makes a damn good version with Chicken, Ham and Mushrooms. He demonstrated how easy it is to make at the National Ploughing Championships in Wexford in September 2012. Eugene is an accomplished cookery demonstrator, who had the audience almost rushing home to give his recipe a go. You can find it in our recipe section, and see for yourself how simple it is to make one of France’s most famous dishes.