A Pastry Chef Remembers Government Cheese

By Caroline Hatchett | Antoinette Bruno


Caroline Hatchett
Antoinette Bruno
Choclate-Cheddar Tart at Emmer & Rye
Choclate-Cheddar Tart at Emmer & Rye

As a schoolboy in Georgetown, Guyana, Tavel Bristol-Joseph received government-issued chocolate cookies, cheese, and milk at lunchtime. Instead of eating them separately, he formed and relished little sandwiches of cookies and processed cheese. A few decades later and a few thousand miles north, Bristol-Joseph transformed his childhood snack ritual into a warm chocolate-cheddar tart for Emmer & Rye’s fall menu. Into a crisp white Sonora wheat tart shell, the layers orange marmalade, candied pecans, and Colombian CasaLuker chocolate ganache, finished with an aerated cheddar sauce and dehydrated berry sprinkle. Even though Bristol-Joseph’s flavor memory is specific to Guyana and a public-school-lunch palate, the dish is all universal comfort and revelation. “How I create, it comes from an emotional standpoint,” says Bristol-Joseph. “If I see something that makes me feel a certain way, I want guests to feel that way, too,” he says.

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