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Michael Laiskonis

Savory and Pastry

2 posts in this topic

As a pastry chef here in the US, I try to keep aware of developments in France and Spain, and surely, the work you are doing as well. Do you employ or collaborate with a pastry chef, or are all of the desserts conceived by you? Is your approach the same... a dish is a dish? How might the dessert courses play a specific role in your menus, in relation to what came before? Given the now common (I'm sure you will argue the historical examples!) exchange of 'pastry' techniques in savory cooking, and 'savory' ingredients in pastry, do you have any general thoughts on the matter? If you have the time, I would love to hear a breakdown of some of your desserts; perhaps one that has interested me is the chocolate fondant with avocado and corn...

You've given us all a great deal of your time in answering our questions. Thank you!

Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef

New York


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I have a very good pastry chef and one who does give a certain amount of input to the menu. The dishes themselves come mainly from me.

The approach to a dish is not necessarily the same.

The idea could come from something historical like the sweetcorn with chocolate which stemmed from the fact that several hundred years ago when chocolate was first introduced into Italy, it was paired with polenta.

Although in a savory state, I then started thinking about chocolate and corn.

There is also the big issue of flavour memory, which is covered on the web site www.fatduck.co.uk. I am trying to work on the idea of an almost adult sweet shop for petits fours.

With regards to expected sweet ingredients to be used in savoury dishes and vice versa, you are right, history has a very influencial role to play.

Some of the dishes on the menu now and some of the stuff that we are working on are;

Chocolate fondant with harissa ice cream, piquillo pepper compote, dried apricot and orange flower water puree, lavender seed and myrrh

Macerated strawberries, coriander seed, black olive puree, pistachio scrambled egg and parmesan


Carrot toffee, carrot and violet ice cream injected with pumpkin seed oil and dried carrot with coriander

The ice cream or jelly with four seperate flavours in one mouthful

Savory-sweet candy floss

Essential oils encapsulated in a grain of carbohydrate; giving bursts of flavours to dishes

The use of fructose to enhance fruit flavours

The use of a range of non-sweet sugars to invert the perception of sweet-non sweet dishes

The use of flavours that are normally associated with smells and household products ie pine and ambrox

Although a taster, I hope that this is enough of a stimulator for you

Thanks, although it has been a bit of work, especially when still trying to run a restaurant, the range and quality of the questions has been fantastic.

Heston Blumenthal

The Fat Duck

The Fat Duck website

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