2nd Annual Pastry Pop-Up: A Culinary Journey through Plating
When top pastry chefs like Patrick Fahy of Chicago's Sixteen, Philip Speer of Uchi Restaurants and Michael Laiskonis of the Institute of Culinary Education came together for a pop-up at the StarChefs.com ICC earlier this fall, the results were as stunning as they were delicious. Fahy took diners on a "West Coast Through East Coast" road trip with regional American ingredients exhibited on the organic minimalism of the Crucial Detail collection, while Speer incorporated the flavors of southeast Asia into his unconventional creations plated on Slate, Crucial Detail and Craft. Laiskonis, who focused on reimagined classics, offered an Apple Confit with Cinnamon Toast Ice Cream which was also plated on Craft.
The Elegance of Glass: Bormioli Rocco + Pastry
The 4th Annual Starchefs.com International Pastry Competition was a show of artistry and ingenuity, with multiple competitors exploring glassware presentations to show off their creations to their best advantage. Pastry veteran Bruno Feldeisen, of Vancouver's Four Seasons Hotel, showed that he's still at the front of the pack with his Whiskey-Fig "Sundae" assembled in a graceful tapered rocks glass. And young gun Thomas Raquel of Acadia in Chicago wowed with his terrarium-like Autumn Olive Berry composition in a straight-sided tumbler. Both desserts perfectly showcased the versatility of the Bormioli Rocco collection, and the potential for glassware beyond the bar.
Art of Presentation: From Atelier Crenn to Villard Michel Richard
For preeminent chefs such as Dominique Crenn and Michel Richard, artistry is just as important as flavor. When Crenn and Pastry Chef Juan Contreras presented a Steelite interactive demo at the StarChefs ICC they impressed participants not only with their preparations, but with their presentations. At their two Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant, Atelier Crenn, their whimsical platings may evoke a forest floor or an abstract sculpture. Back on the main stage, Michel Richard chose Optik to display a reimagined lemon meringue in a white chocolate egg shell. Leave it to a king of French pastry to whip up fine dining pastry in a microwave, and serve it in high style.
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