Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Rock N Roll Desserts
pastry chefs are usually ported as neurotic maestros ,fretting over a sweating eclair or creating an ethereal ganache.However there's a new kind emerging, laid back with punk rock cool.With this come desserts with the same vibe.Edgy.Out there.Yet they're just as tasty as any elaborate confection, The New York Times Dining section featured one of these unique beacons in a piece written by Dining regular contributor,Jeff Gordonier.Mr. Gordonier interviewed Brooks Headley pastry chef at the very elegant, and staid Del Posto Ristorante in Manhattan.Del Posto is known for it's owners and chef, Lidia, Bastianich and her son and Mario Batale.Chef Bastianich wanted a pastry chef who was more in her step with restyle of cooking, creating simple dishes that only enhance an ingredient's flavor and look.It has to be pared down which meshed perfectly with Chef Headley's philosophy and esthetic.His work can be out there.He even has a dessert book out soon featuring his creations. One interesting one is a surprise homage to Bugs Bunny with sliced purple, yellow and orange carrots that are candied and sit ,snuggled between a Zagat bar and a roll of Life Savers.It's from the cartoon where the famed rabbit buys carrots out of a vending machine.The book,due out in October, called Fancy Desserts also features a tribute to the outré band Dead Kennedy's .The recipe with it? Sugared Green Strawberries With Toasted Fennel Cakes with mint gelato.He specializes ,though, on the old school relationship of ice cream and cake together.His cakes often have a savory aspect.There could be pecorino cheese or polenta as an ingredient along with peas, olive oil and carrots paired with a savory gelato, redolent with basil, parsley , celery ,olive oil, corn and cashews.He focus on the taste, not on the exterior , if it looks pretty on a plate.It should be all about the flavor. Unlike other pastry chefs, the Baltimore raised Chef Headley has another talent.He creates out of this world veggie burgers.In fact his pop up stand, is called The Superiority Burger.He is not bragging.The burger has a following.It is an homage to the Clean Slate sandwich in the Saltie cookbook(based on the famed hipster Williamsburg hangout and restaurant Saltie).At his heart , Chef Headley is both an artist and a rocker,He has been in several bands while working at different restaurants.He never went to culinary school.It was just necessity. That he began working at the Washington DC eatery Galileo when he couldn't get any gigs.He had no background save for his time helping his Italian mother put in her Baltimore kitchen.His mentor and Galileo's chef,Laura Aleman Weber became his inspiration.Her passion for cooking matched his for music.They were kindred spirits.He then went to the West Coast, working at the famed Camanile, under the tutelage of another female chef,Nancy Silverton.He learned by being inquisitive and observing how they worked with temperatures and textures.However his endings aren't fluffy and French.He created a chocolate gelato with two cocas, it's flavor mimicking a Fudgesicles.In fact the recipe he gives to Dining is a homemade ice cream sandwich, with butter fried white bread and Cherry Garcia ice-cream.It's an Ametican spin on the great Sicilian dessert of a brioche topped with gelato. American cuisine is undergoing several changes.It's going back to it's basics.Even the desserts are becoming simple again.Dessert Chef Headley realizes this and creates them, but with a pun rocks Ish spin on those sweet endings.