Notable Pastry Presentations from Four Bay Area Pastry Chefs

While these four pastry chefs from the Bay Area all present plates that are contemporary and incorporate some forms that are similar, each dish has its own aesthetic. Luis Villavelazquez of Absinthe presents a boldly colored and visually striking dish with his Blood Orange Crème Brûlée with Devil’s Food Cake, Beet Foam, and Hibiscus, while Melissa Chou’s Hazelnut Financier, Fromage Blanc Bavarian, Balsamic Granita, and Cherry at Aziza is sophisticated, with its angular forms and quiet tones of cream and plum. At Oakland’s Commis Carlos Salgado keeps a detailed dessert from feeling too scattered by working with subtle yellows, greens, and pale creams. And Catherine Schimenti’s Heirloom Squash Cheesecake with Cranberry Gel, Rosemary Caramel, and Honey-Pine Nut Ice Cream at Michael Mina mixes bright color and acidity with sweet pastels; her plate almost mimics an artist’s palate in form.