Tammy Alana
Top of the Palms Casino Resort
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89103
(702) 951-7000


Amy Tarr: How did you get into pastry arts?
Tammy Alana: I worked for the post office as a mail handler for 5 years. I worked on big sorting machinery and ran forklifts. I joined when I was 20 and stayed until I was 25. Whenever it was someone’s birthday, I would bake a cake for them.

AT: Where did you train?
TA: I graduated from CIA Greystone in St. Helena .

AT: What restaurants have you worked in as a pastry chef?
TA: My first pastry chef position was at Bellagio, starting on the banquet team - I did mass-plated desserts. Then I switched to the restaurant team and did all the desserts for the hotel. Then on to wedding cakes at the Bellagio. Next I took the pastry chef position at Tre (owned by the Maccionis).

AT: What is your philosophy on pastry?
TA: I try to keep it simple, but I look forward to every menu change, to be creative. I’m good with change.

AT: Where do you look for inspiration?
TA: I’m always reading pastry books. And I love to dine around and see what’s going on. It keeps you motivated.

AT: Who are your pastry mentors?
TA: Frederic Robert at Wynn – he’s the corporate pastry chef for the hotel. His book’s amazing. I like to get inspiration from Richard Leach as well. How he structures his book by the seasons - he’ll take seasonal fruit and do different things with it.

AT: What pastry or kitchen tools can’t you live without?
TA: My off-set spatula. I like the 6-inch offset. I’m always using it. That’s all I need. And a good sharp knife!

AT: What are your favorite ingredients to work with?
TA: I’m big on using salt and/or lemon zest. It depends on what I’m making. They bring out the flavors of what I’m doing. And I love using seasonal fruit. My favorite is peaches.

AT: What are your favorite desserts?
TA: To make: I like to do miniatures, where you can have a few bites of this, that and the other, where you’re not disappointed by choosing one dessert. To eat: candy! Fruity, chewy candies of all varieties. That’s my fix. Plus ice cream cones and cookies.

AT: What are your top three tips for dessert success?
TA: 1) Work with quality product. 2) Match your flavors well. 3) Simple, clean plating.

AT: What’s your #1 selling dessert?
TA: Chocolate soufflé.

AT: What trends do you see emerging in pastry arts?
TA: Post-dessert complimentary petit fours. We do classic French petit fours.

AT: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
TA: This company is a really good company. Everyone is very happy and organized. I’ve really seen it grow since I’ve been here one year. And there are a couple of things in the works. I see myself in Las Vegas, unless we open in other parts of the US. I’ll be a pastry chef! I love what I do, and I hope I love it as much, if not more, in 5 years!

Tammy Alana
ALIZÉ | Las Vegas

Thirty-one year old Tammy Alana is the master of special deliveries. She first identified her passion for pastry arts when she was working for the post office in Orange Country, California. Tammy would regularly honor her colleagues’ birthdays with homemade cakes and eventually recognized her true calling. A year after graduating from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, she moved to Las Vegas to work in the pastry shop at the Bellagio Hotel on the banquet, restaurant and wedding cake teams. Tammy currently oversees the dessert menus at Andre’s Restaurant at the Monte Carlo and Alizé at the top of the Palms Hotel, where her clean and elegant desserts are driven by the bounty of each changing season.

Chocolate and Pandan Leaf Spring Rolls
Chef Tammy Alana of Alizé at the Top of the Palms Casino – Las Vegas, NV
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Chocolate and Pandan Leaf Spring Rolls on StarChefs.comYield: 6 Servings


    Pandan Cheesecake Filling:
  • 1 cup mascarpone ½ pandan leaf, chopped*
  • 1/8 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
    *Pandan leaf can be found in most specialty Asian food markets
    Tapioca Sauce:
  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup tapioca
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    Spring Rolls:
  • Pandan cheesecake filling
  • 6 spring roll wrappers
  • 1 large bar dark chocolate
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • Oil, for deep frying

For Cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 300° F. Heat 4 ounces of mascarpone in a small pot with the chopped pandan leaf and cream. Let steep and set aside. Place remaining mascarpone in a mixing bowl with sugar and vanilla extract. Using a spatula to mix, add eggs to mixing bowl one at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Strain hot pandan leaf mixture into mixing bowl, making sure to press all the infused cream through the strainer, and mix together. Butter and sugar an 8-inch x 8-inch baking pan and pour all of the cheesecake mixture in. Place in oven and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. When cooked it will have a gelatinous consistency. Remove from oven and allow to cool in refrigerator for 20 minutes.

For Tapioca Sauce:
Place milk, salt and tapioca in a small pot. Stir until boiling, and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Combine egg and sugar in a bowl. Temper mixture with a small amount of the hot milk and return to the pot. Place on low heat, stirring constantly until mixture achieves sauce consistency. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract, and let cool.

For Spring Rolls:
Scrape cheesecake into a pastry bag. Lay spring rolls on a flat surface, facing you as a diamond. Pipe cheesecake mixture from corner horizontally about 1-inch thick, leaving 1½ inches from each end. Break up chocolate bar into 6 pieces and place one piece along the cheesecake mixture. Using the directions on the back of the spring roll wrapper, roll cheesecake tightly. Use egg whites to seal the spring roll wrapper. Refrigerate rolls for 20 minutes to ensure shape. Deep fry spring rolls until wrappers are golden brown.

To Serve:
Slice spring roll in half on the bias and arrange on a plate. Drizzle with tapioca sauce.



   Published: August 2005