Interview with Pastry Chef Matt Maslowski of Lacroix at the Rittenhouse – Philadelphia, PA

May , 2004

Pamela Lewy:: Describe your philosophy on baking.
Matt Maslowski: I like to describe my philosophy as a blend of chemistry and architecture…science mixed with art.

PL: You were a Pastry Chef for Player’s Island Hotel and Casino in Louisiana for two years. What brought you there?

MM: I wanted to try something different and expand my horizons. At the time, my brother-in-law was working for their casino and he told me they were looking for a new pastry chef, so I decided to make the move.

PL: How did you like it?

MM: It was a different experience. I had to deal not only with the restaurant but the buffet and banquets as well.

PL: What pastry tools can’t you live without?

MM: I’m torn between my candy thermometer and my sugar pump (to make blown sugar).

PL: What are your favorite ingredients to incorporate into your desserts?

MM: I like to use tonka beans because they are floral and versatile. I also like to infuse spices and herbs into desserts.

PL: Where do you get your inspiration?

MM: I like to take bits and pieces from different sources of inspiration. I read books and Food Arts magazine. I sometimes look to our Chef de Cuisine, Matt Ridgway, for inspiration.

PL: What are your top three tips for dessert success?

MM: Taste, cleanliness, and inspiration.

PL: Who are your mentors/pastry heroes?

MM: Eddie Hales from the Four Season in Philadelphia and Frederick Ortega from Lacroix at the Rittenhouse.

PL: What are your favorite desserts to eat?

MM: Homemade sorbet and ice cream. They’re simple but good.

PL: What is your favorite dessert to make?
MM: Chocolate soufflé.