When, in the 1600s, English settlers arrived in Jamestown to found the Virginia Colony, hardships were offset by a sweet discovery: the wild strawberry. In the mid-18th century, this North American berry was successfully crossed with another from Chile: Voila, the garden-variety strawberry of today ripened to juicy red glory in Brittany, France. Even now, strawberries hold a special place in the French heart. As an aphrodisiac! Cold strawberry soup is traditionally served to newlyweds.

If that makes your own heart go pitty-pat, know that May is National Strawberry Month. Know also that strawberries are actually in the rose family and not true berries at all (because their seeds are on the outside, not inside), and are bursting with Vitamin C and polyphenols, an important antioxidant. Chefs the world over love to use them in dishes both sweet and savory for their pop of color and taste. Here are a few worthy exemplars.

Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel & Casino


Not for nothing was Dominique Ansel named best pastry chef in the world. After all, it was he who invented the Cronut! At his recently opened, eponymous location inside Caesars, his “Bake the World a Better Place” pastry collection takes familiar favorites to new heights. Like his Chocolate-Covered Strawberry (pictured above) made with strawberry Chambord mousse, strawberry gelee, rose genoise cake, dark chocolate and sesame seeds.

Read MoreLas Vegas: The New Foodie Capital of the World?

The Eliza Jane

New Orleans

bowl filled with strawberries and blueberries

NOLA native Ryan Pearson left town  for the kitchens of star chefs like Daniel Boulud, but now he marries French technique with Louisiana style at Couvant in this Unbound Collection by Hyatt hotel. At brunch, go for the irresistible Stuffed French Toast Sticks, with cream cheese, strawberries, strawberry coulis and whipped cream.

Read More: Lessons from an Immersive New Orleans Experience

The West Hollywood EDITION


berries on top of a cake

Chef John Fraser is noted for his Michelin-lauded, veg-forward fare, especially the daily off-menu specials showcasing the best from nearby farmers markets. But he’s no slouch when it comes to berries, either. On his celebrated brunch menu at Ardor, this Sunset Boulevard property’s signature restaurant, he offers the sweet treat of Not-vocado Toast, a confection of brioche, strawberry-tomato jam and burrata ice cream.

Kimpton Gray Hotel


flan, strawberries, blueberries and flower

This hotel’s name is a bow to the Georgia Gray marble that has graced its stately presence since 1894, when it was the New York Life Insurance Building. Now, Peruvian and Argentinian street food-centered small plates are the thing—at Boleo, the rooftop bar and lounge with a retractable roof. As the resident DJs set the mood, bliss out on the Homemade Flan adorned by ruby-radiant strawberries.

This article appears in the May 2024 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.