|Pastry Chef Adrian Vasquez of Providence – Los Angeles, CA
by Katherine Martinelli
| Photos by Antoinette Bruno
Adrian Vasquez may have taken a circuitous route to becoming a pastry chef—he started out as a musician and then went to architecture school—but today he is one of the top confectioners in Los Angeles. Vasquez began his culinary career on the savory side as a line cook under Chef John Caputo at San Francisco’s Socca, but spent his extra time assisting the pastry chef. Before long Vasquez became the pastry chef’s assistant; when the pastry chef left Vasquez filled the position.
Now, as the pastry chef at 2004 Rising Star Chef Michael Cimarusti’s Providence, Vasquez is constantly searching for new and exciting flavor combinations and techniques. His inspiration, he says, “comes from boredom and palate fatigue; just getting tired of what I already know.” As a result, Vasquez’s desserts are playful and incorporate many textural and flavor components. In one dish, he combines kalamansi gelee, white chocolate, coconut, soy milk, tapioca, and litchi-shiso sorbet; it tastes as fun as it sounds and has a surprising but pleasant mouthfeel.
Vasquez has two pieces of advice to offer to young pastry chefs: go work under someone great and work as hard as you can, even if that means not getting paid. “Making an analogy to music,” he says, “somebody who practices eight hours a day versus someone who practices 12 hours a day, the one who practices 12 hours a day will be better.” In the future, Vasquez hopes to open an ice cream shop and chocolate boutique where he can express his creativity and showcase his imaginative confections.
5955 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038