Photo via Wicked Waffle
It’s not often that a dream is spurred in a Waffle House. For Thierry Jugnet, though, his dream was not only born in a Waffle House, it was the Waffle House that inspired it.

In Jugnet’s words, “When I traveled and I walked into a Waffle House, I just said, ‘Oh, my gosh. How is that possible?’”

Jugnet was born and raised in Lyon, France. Roughly 30 years ago, he moved to the United States to study with one of the leading chefs in Washington, D.C. While he originally meant to stay for a year, he stayed for the long haul, eventually finding himself in front of a plate of syrupy, sugary waffles.

To put it simply, Jugnet loves waffles.

“My mission now is to teach the American public that there is another way to eat waffles, to enjoy waffles, that you don’t have to load it with all of these unnecessary calories,” he said.

After a year and a half of experimentation, he was finally able to create a recipe for the perfect waffle, one that is gluten-free and without additives. The secret is that he doesn’t use baking powder. Instead, the starches in the recipe come from rice and tapioca.

With his perfect recipe, he opened up one of Washington, D.C.’s most unique breakfast and brunch joints, Wicked Waffle. The motto to Wicked Waffle is “No Butter. No Syrup,” and Jugnet holds strong to that philosophy with no items on the menu that would
resemble anything in a typical Waffle House.

Photo via Wicked Waffle

Wicked Waffle offers a savory and sweet menu with options like a turkey and brie waffle or a tiramisu waffle. Some of the most popular waffle dishes include a peking duck waffle and a banana and strawberry cheesecake waffle.

By taking a bite out of any dish on the menu, you’ll find a light, crispy, fluffy waffle without the syrupy sweet fuss we’ve all come to know and foolishly love.

According to Jugnet, this is how waffles are supposed to be.

He said, “I think I’m doing a service right now. Doing Wicked Waffle is a dream by making a product that I think has been done in a one-dimension for the past 50 to 60 years.”

How Jugnet hopes to further revolutionize the waffle is by creating a whole-wheat waffle. He also hopes to open additional locations in the District over the next few years.

Photo via Wicked Waffle

You can find Wicked Waffle at 1712 I St. NW, Washington, D.C., and at 1701 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, Md. Check out their full menu on their website or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

About Michelle Goldchain

Michelle is a photojournalist who loves to live life by never sitting still. You can find her in art galleries in Dupont Circle, ethnic restaurants in Adams Morgan and comedy clubs in Arlington. In her spare time, when she's not typing away at a computer screen, she's probably listening to moody electronic music, watching cat videos or doodling.
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