Photo Credit: Peter Pioppo

Michael Laiskonis

155 W 51st St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 554-1515

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Michael Laiskonis

Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis' keen interest in the nexus of science and art, as well as of pastry and savory cuisine reveals itself in his contemporary, architecturally appealing desserts at Le Bernardin. Working alongside Executive Chef and Co-Owner Eric Ripert, Laiskonis experiments with contrasting textures, temperatures, and unexpected ingredients in a quest for new flavor sensations. A native of Michigan, Laiskonis initially trained in visual arts at Wayne State University and, without a formal culinary degree, started baking professionally while a college student working in a friend’s bakery. He first gained recognition during influential stints at Emily's and Tribute in Michigan. At Tribute he started as a line cook before assuming the role of Pastry Chef, a position he held for five years until coming to Le Bernardin in 2004. According to Ripert, “Michael’s sensibilities perfectly complement the Le Bernardin style of light, inventive, elegant food.”


Wagashi Sushi
Chef Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernardin – New York, NY
Adapted by

Yield: 12 Servings


    Yuzu Pâte de Fruit:
  • 250 grams yuzu juice
  • 50 grams apricot puree (10% sugar)
  • 30 grams granulated sugar
  • 7.5 grams pectin
  • 280 grams granulated sugar
  • 55 grams glucose
  • 2 grams citric acid

    Citrus Foam:
  • 300 grams skim milk
  • 25 grams almond flour, toasted
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • Zest of one lemon, grated
  • Zest of one orange, grated
  • 1 grams (¼ teaspoon) soy lecithin

    Ginger Gelée:
  • 15 grams ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 50 grams water
  • 50 grams orange juice
  • 2.5 grams sheet gelatin
  • 10 grams water, cold
  • 25 grams granulated sugar
  • .5 grams agar-agar

    Caramelized Rice:
  • 60 grams granulated sugar
  • 20 grams water
  • 50 grams rice cereal
  • 2 grams unsalted butter

    Yuzu Cream:
  • 1 whole egg
  • 85 grams granulated sugar
  • 35 grams yuzu juice
  • 10 grams orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2.5 grams sheet gelatin
  • 85g unsalted butter

    To Serve:
  • Raspberries, as needed
  • Orange powder, as needed
  • Grated pistachio, as needed
  • Micro shiso or basil

For the Yuzu Pâte de Fruit:
In a large heavy sauce pan, combine juice and purée; heat to 104º F. Combine first measurement of sugar and pectin and whisk into juice mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously. Add remaining sugar and glucose. Cook to 223º F. Remove from heat and stir in citric acid. Pour into a silpat lined frame and set.

For the Citrus Foam:
Heat the milk until warm and add toasted almond flour. Cover and allow to stand 15 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Thoroughly blend milk with remaining ingredients. Chill.

For the Ginger Gelée:
Combine ginger, first measurement of water, and orange juice. Gently warm; remove from heat, cover, and infuse for one hour. Strain and reserve. Bloom gelatin in second measurement of water. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and agar-agar, along with ginger infusion. Bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Add bloomed gelatin and any remaining water. Immediately pour out onto a flat, plastic lined quarter sheet pan and set. Reserve chilled.

For the Caramelized Rice:
Place sugar in a medium saucepan and moisten with water. Over medium heat, cook sugar until nearly all of the water has evaporated, but before it begins to caramelize.

Add cereal and gently stir to coat with sugar. Continue cooking and stirring as sugar crystallizes. Slowly, the sugar will begin to melt and caramelize. When most of the sugar has melted and caramelized, remove from heat and stir in the butter, gently yet thoroughly. Transfer to a silpat or parchment paper and allow to cool.

For the Yuzu Cream:
In a heavy, non-reactive saucepan, whisk together egg and sugar, then add juices and zest. On medium heat bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, as it will easily scorch on the bottom. Bloom gelatin in water. When the mixture boils and is quite thick, remove from heat and emulsify the butter into the yuzu cream in small amounts. Strain through a chinois and gently chill in an ice water bath.

To Assemble and Serve:
Cut yuzu pâte into 2-centimeter by 3-centimeter rectangles. Cut the ginger gelée into squares measuring 3-centimeters by 3-centimeters. On each rectangle of the yuzu pâte, place half a raspberry, a spoonful of the yuzu cream, and a cluster of the caramelized rice. Top with a sheet of the ginger gelée. Garnish each piece with a sprinkle of orange powder, pistachio, and herbs.

Wine Pairing:

Monbazillac, Château Belingard, Bergerac, 2002

   Published: September 2006