Death Match: Quenelle v Scoop

By Kerry Politzer | Illustrated by Becki Kozel


Kerry Politzer | Illustrated by Becki Kozel
Quenelle v Scoop, by Becki Kozel
Quenelle v Scoop, by Becki Kozel

Is the quenelle played out? One pastry chef thinks so. “I think the quenelle is done. It's 2017. I want to bring the scoop back!” says Pastry Chef Julie Cogley, who uses a blasphemous plastic scoop at Chris Cosentino's Jackrabbit in Portland, Oregon.
In a busy kitchen, plating consistent quenelles can be a challenge. “You have 10 different desserts that all need to be ice-creamed or sorbet-ed, and stuff like that can be super temperamental. I don't care how talented you are, it gets to be a little bit of a pain.” There are other technical challenges posed by frozen mediums: “Are they tempered correctly? Are they super frozen? Is it hard to actually scoop into it, are your sorbets icy, are they chunky, are they going to fall apart?” says Cogley. She also likes the way scoops show of sorbets swirls in her ice creams. Quenelles can't compete.

Hold up! In this corner we have Roe Pastry Chef Liz Clements who says the quenelle is faster to plate up than a scoop. “Once you get the motion down, it's pretty quick. You've got to have a hot spoon, and I always keep a small pot of hot water on the station for easy access.” While Clements doesn't have a diehard allegiance to the quenelle, she says, “A quenelle can really elevate the look of a dish and give you that wow factor.”

TKO? IDK. But the winning solution may be a cross (not to be confused with a diving crossbody slam) between the beauty of the quenelle and the ease of the scoop. Cogley sometimes uses a tapered ice cream scoop to attain a more oblong shape. She laughs, “It looks like a scoop and a quenelle had a beautiful little scoop-baby. You still get the tapered edges and it looks clean, but it's just an easy task of dip and go.”
Regardless of your choice, at the end of the night, both scoop and quenelle will die in a puddle of cream and yolks.

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