An omelette or omelet as we call it here in America, is an egg dish which is usually served at breakfast or brunch. On a side note, I will be using the French spelling of omelette for the rest of this post, because I like it better.

Omelettes consist of beaten eggs which are fried in a pan; however, the eggs are not stirred like they are in scrambled eggs. Instead, they are allowed to cook flat over hot butter or oil until done. Most omelettes are folded around a filling before being plated and served.

Apart from cheese – which is arguably the most common filling found in American omelettes – other fillings include cooked meats such as bacon, ham, and sausage, as well vegetables like colored peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach and salsa. These ingredients may or may not be sautéed in a separate pan prior to being added to the cooked omelette.

There is a big difference between authentic or traditional French omelettes and the American diner-style omelettes which are filled to the brim with all kinds of different things. The esteemed French omelette is something completely different. The French omelette should be golden yellow, not brown, with a creamy texture and very minimal filling.

The original method, developed more than a century ago by one legendary chef named Auguste Escoffier seems simple but in reality has been a stumbling block for countless chefs over the years.

The classic method of cooking an omelette uses a high-quality black carbon steel pan. The ideal pan is one that has been used exclusively for cooking eggs, and has also been seasoned over the course of multiple years. And lastly, let’s not forget about the fork.

The idea is to melt a bit of butter in a hot omelette pan, add some beaten eggs, then vigorously scramble them with a fork until the omelette starts to set before finally rolling it out onto a plate. The trick is knowing the correct moment to remove the omelette from the heat so the eggs retain that delicious creaminess to them.

Most diners in the United States make much thicker omelettes which require the edges to be lifted with a spatula so the raw egg sitting on top can run under the edge and continue to cook. The omelette can then be flipped and allowed to finish cooking before any additional ingredients are added as the filling. This is what any line cook during brunch hours in American will cook day in and day out.

At one time and possibly even now, when egg yolks were considered unhealthy, many restaurants offered an alternative omelette made with all egg whites or some form of egg substitute. I think people are coming around and realizing eggs aren’t the unhealthy monsters they were said to be just ten years ago.