Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Is 2011 the year of the pastry chef?

Posted By on Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge Let us eat cake?
  • Let us eat cake?

Pastry chefs have long been like Christmas elves -- toiling in the back of restaurants and known only insofar as their creations are magically revealed at the table.

But with the recent run of Top Chef: Just Desserts and an upcoming piece in The New Yorker, pastry chefs might just be the headlining attractions of 2011.

The suggestion in The New Yorker is that pastry is where the culinary envelope is being steamed open and shoved full of ganache. WD-50 pastry chef Alex Stupak explains his inspiration:

Pastry is the closest that a human being can get to creating a new food. A savory chef will look at puff pastry not as a combination of ingredients but as an ingredient in itself. Pastry is infinitely exciting, because it's less about showing the greatness of nature, and more about transmitting taste and flavor.
And while the writer travels to Spain in an effort to discover the epicenter of this dessert revolution, the takeaway is that we are all witnesses to the evolution of sweets. In America, we'll likely need a few more celebrity pastry chefs to help herald the change in how dessert is perceived. You can probably name Johnny Iuzzini before drawing a blank.

Dessert has the potential to make a big difference in the ever-tightening race to win over regulars and impress new diners. And there, standing at the finish of the meal, is the pastry chef.

[Image via Flickr: hashmil]

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