Chefs on StarChefs
Thomas Gerard on Starchefs

141 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Pamela Lewy: What is your philosophy on desserts?
Thomas Gerard: Flavor is most important in a dessert. A pastry chef should never be surprised when things come up at the last minute, so it is important to be clean and organized as well.

PL: What restaurants have you worked in as a pastry chef?
TG: After I came from France, I worked in New York City as a pastry chef for the French Consulate. I’ve worked at Patina for the past year and a half.

PL: What pastry or kitchen tools can you not live without?
TG: I can’t live without a big and small knife, a medium spatula and my pastry scraper.

PL: What are your favorite ingredients?
TG: I love to bake with orange blossom water, vanilla and chocolate. I like to combine different flavors, spices and textures in my desserts.

PL: What are your tips for dessert success?
TG: Surprise customers and always respect flavors. A dessert should always have a interesting presentation and nice color.

PL: Who are your mentors or pastry heroes?
TG: Alain Ducasse and Pierre Orsi have both been huge influences on me and they have taught me so much. But I like to develop my own recipes and original ideas, and I never take recipes or methods from anyone else.

PL: What are your favorite desserts?
TG: I take more pleasure in making the desserts than actually eating them myself, but if I had to choose one, it would be panna cotta.

PL: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
TG: I like to think in the moment and take each day one at a time. Right now I am enjoying working with Patina Group and developing new desserts.


Patina | Los Angeles, CA

Thomas Gerard was put through his paces while serving a military tour of duty as the private pastry chef for the Governor of Lyon. Talented beyond his years, then-22-year-old Gerard crafted desserts for some of France's most powerful dignitaries. His visually striking and boldly flavored pastries have also made a strong impression on New Yorkers during his stints at the French Consulate and Restaurant Alain Ducasse. Now established at Patina in Los Angeles, Gerard is on his way to joining the crème de la crème of pastry chefs on the west coast.

Pear & Vodka Sorbet, Cranberry Sorbet and Orange Granita

Pastry Chef Thomas Gerard of Patina – Los Angeles, CA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 7-9 Servings


    Cranberry sorbet
  • 1 pound plus 2 ounces fresh
    or frozen cranberries
  • 4 ounces granulated sugar

    Pear and vodka sorbet
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 pears, peeled, cored, and cut in half
  • 2 star anise
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3 ounces vodka

    Orange granita
  • 2 ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 ounces granulated sugar

For cranberry sorbet:
In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries and sugar. Cover saucepan with plastic wrap and cook over very low temperature for 25 minutes, or until cranberries become soft and molten. Puree mixture in blender and strain. Refrigerate for minimum of 10 hours. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For pear and vodka sorbet:
Bring water, sugar, pears, star anise, and lemon juice to a boil in a saucepan. Heat until pear is cooked through. Separate the pears from juice and place in blender. Strain juice through a fine mesh sieve and add juice to the blender. Puree until smooth. Add vodka just before you are ready to make sorbet. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For orange granita:
Bring orange juice and sugar to a boil and then reduce to a syrup. Place in freezer. Remove when solid and shave with a metal serving spoon to look like crystal.

To serve:
Using martini glasses, layer first with pear & vodka sorbet, then add cranberry sorbet and then top with orange granita. Garnish with mint leaf.

 Published: Feb 2004