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culinary fantasies into edible realities


Gifted Gourmet
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the R & I article

This is an incredible article on desserts today and on the pastry chef as the person who transforms fantasies into realities.

Old-fashioned favorites, re-created with modern twists, are major players on dessert menus, and for many chefs, hallmarks of New American cuisine. But nostalgia is far from the only factor shaping the pastry arts.

*Seasonal ingredients inspire chefs in all segments

*Lending a different kind of flair, wines, brandies and liqueurs bring warmth to a meal’s end.

*chilled fruit soups

Mixed with seasonal offerings, audience-driven items and retro-inspired fare, trends of the moment find their way onto pastry menus. The small-plates phenomenon has not escaped notice, announcing its presence in the form of tapas-inspired desserts and sampler-style platings. Details such as tableside finishes, extravagant garnishes and unique serving ware go a long way toward concluding the guest experience on a high note.

What do you prefer in your restaurant desserts?

Smaller but more creative items?

Larger and decadent items?

Style over substance?

A single theme such as chocolate in any way, shape, or form?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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the R & I article

This is an incredible article on desserts today and on the pastry chef as the person who transforms fantasies into realities.

Old-fashioned favorites, re-created with modern twists, are major players on dessert menus, and for many chefs, hallmarks of New American cuisine. But nostalgia is far from the only factor shaping the pastry arts.

*Seasonal ingredients inspire chefs in all segments

*Lending a different kind of flair, wines, brandies and liqueurs bring warmth to a meal’s end.

*chilled fruit soups

Mixed with seasonal offerings, audience-driven items and retro-inspired fare, trends of the moment find their way onto pastry menus. The small-plates phenomenon has not escaped notice, announcing its presence in the form of tapas-inspired desserts and sampler-style platings. Details such as tableside finishes, extravagant garnishes and unique serving ware go a long way toward concluding the guest experience on a high note.

What do you prefer in your restaurant desserts?

Smaller but more creative items?

Larger and decadent items?

Style over substance?

A single theme such as chocolate in any way, shape, or form?

I prefer something smaller but more creative, but also prefer substance over style, without foregoing the visual appeal of an enticing dessert. For instance I'd rather have a small tart with beautiful fruit and a simple drizzle of fruit glace than a six-layer wall of chocolate -- most of the time! :wink:

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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most of the time when my fiance and i dine out..we never make it to dessert....and for the times we do...have to turn many of them down..as both of us are diabetics...so for those times when we do make it to dessert...personally id love to see some more diabetic friendly options on the menus..after all a good portion of americxa is now diabetic..but there is very little attention being paid to this market in restaurants

a recipe is merely a suggestion

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Thanks, Melissa, for bringing that great article to attention. I am in the midst of designing a new menu for a new restaurant... and have lots of those different trends on my mind as a matter of fact. Trying to be creative, trying to please customers, trying to be different yet still approachable, but also trying not to look like we are doing one from every category! I love hearing other pc's take on things, and what works in different parts of the country. It's all so fascinating, ... and exciting that there are so many possibilities: we are not limited by traditional expectations/parameters anymore. We pc's are just as able to be creative as the exec chef. And customers are not just receptive to it now, but expecting to be delighted and surprised...what we do best!

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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I have to say I like something traditional for dessert, with a new twist. Maybe ice cream in an unusual flavor or a moist cake with a special garnish. My experiences have not been favorable when chefs start putting things like green vegetables or black pepper in my dessert. I don't like huge servings but I am not a fan of the tiny samplers either.

Some things I have enjoyed recently are:

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Winter Fruit Stew (apple, persimmon, raisin, liquer) with cinnamon ice cream

Upscale Peanut Butter Cup (choc. crumb crust, pb mousse, enrobbed in dk choc.)

Semolina Cake soaked rose water syrup with tangy yogurt

and I still love a good old piece of pie

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I've tried catering to diabetics and Atkins customers in a portion of my menu, and in the end, just found them not very hungry for dessert :sad:

One thing I'm getting into is variations on ice cream sodas.

I already ran a reversed root beer float( root beer sorbet, vanilla anglaise carbonated thru an ISI soda siphon) but this weekend I ran a kind of a 'Malteasa'/Whopper soda on Friday, featuring a soda siphoned Milk Chocolate anglaise with a White Chocolate Malt ice cream that I loaded with a melange of citrus flavored pop rocks(orange, lemon and strawberry). I loaded the ice cream ala minute when I scooped it by laying down my rocks and enclosing it with the scooper.

People were really surprised and happy with that.

Saturday night I changed it slightly by putting the emphasis on peanut butter by doing 2 scoops of my peanut butter ice cream that I enclosed a reeses piece in and a scoop of the loaded white chocolate malt ice cream.

It was a success.

My customers seem to be craving chocolate right now, over things like pumpkin creme brulee even.

That being said, I'll probably find out that all I sold on my day off is brulee.

Edited by tan319 (log)

2317/5000

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Tan, Very coincedental- I just took off the kabocha creme brulee- and added a malted milk chocolate creme brulee (with three choc chip, orange cookies). I took off the green tea white choc cheesecake- and added the eggnog/ cran-rasp cheesecake. There has been pumpkin burn out here.

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