– Boston, MA
Simplicity and discipline. I keep my desserts simple in terms
of presentation and flavor profiles. Do not deviate far from
the classics; desserts should be cutting edge, yet satisfying.
Abiento - Pasadena, CA
Hotel Hershey – Hershey, PA
Four Seasons - Las Colinas, Irving, TX & Houston, TX
Culinary Institute of America - Hyde Park, NY.
you can't live without:
A great pair of shoes
High quality chocolate
Three tips for
1. Preparation is key. Do research and find out how flavors
will go together. Don’t be afraid to try something new
and different but make sure that it will work.
2. Quality is a huge factor as to whether the flavors will blend
as you anticipated. If you aren’t working with the best
quality food the flavors may not come together as you expected.
Be prepared to make adjustments based on the product that you
receive each day.
3. Have fun and be creative. Just because it hasn’t been
done before doesn’t mean that you can’t try it.
Going out on a limb can bring you an idea that might just put
you on the map. Everyone was a little surprised when I came
up with Blue Cheese Ice Cream, but it worked!
A Los Angeles Native, Ernie’s path to Mantra was a circuitous
one, starting out in California and leading to Massachusetts.
Ernie received an associate degree in Baking and Pastry Arts
at the Culinary Institute of America. Then, after a whirlwind
externship at the exclusive Newport Country Club, he continued
on to Chocolate Central -- The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
For the next two years, he headed the resort's pastry operations,
before making a major move to the Four Seasons Hotel in Dallas
and then the Four Seasons Houston. As Executive Pastry Chef
at the AAA rated 5-Diamond property, Ernie managed a staff of
five and created delicacies for breakfast, lunch, dinner, room
service and banquets of all sizes.
Ernie was then recruited to help open Mantra in Boston in 2000.
As Executive Pastry Chef, he has won rave reviews for his unique
sweet and savory flavor combinations - he won an award at Boston's
annual Masters of Pastry competition before the restaurant had
even opened. This spring, Ernie tied for first place in Boston's
annual "Chocolate Madness" contest.
- 1 pound sweet (unsalted) butter, at room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup diced rhubarb
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
- Banyuls Sorbet
- 2 cups Banyuls wine
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 cups water
For the sugar dough:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cream the butter and sugar in a standing mixer fitted with
the paddle attachment, until the butter is light and fluffy
in appearance. Add eggs one at a time to the mixture, mixing
well after each. Add the flour and slowly mix until just incorporated.
Remove the dough from the mixer, and wrap up tighlty in plastic
wrap. Freeze for 1 hour. On a well floured surface, roll out
the chilled dough to 1/8” thickness. With a 2”
round cookie cutter, cut rounds out of the dough. Bake the
rounds on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
For the filling:
Whisk together the mascarpone and confectioner’s
sugar in a mixing bowl. Once well combined, place the bowl
in the refrigerator to chill until use.
In a small bowl toss the rhubarb with the cinnamon and sugar.
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté
the rhubarb until soft. Remove the rhubarb from the heat,
and allow it to cool. Once cool, add the diced strawberries.
For the Banyuls sorbet:
Bring the Banyuls wine, sugar and water to a boil
in a large pot. Once boiling, remove from heat. Pour it into
a shallow pan, and place the pan in the freezer. Stir it every
30 minutes until frozen.
Place a sugar cookie in the center of a serving
plate. Using a pastry bag and tip, pipe a mound of the mascarpone
on top of the sugar cookie. Spoon a bit of the strawberry-rhubarb
mixture on the mascarpone, and place a small scoop of the
sorbet on top. Serve immediately.