Interview with Pastry Chef Greg Mosko of North Pond – Chicago, IL

January 2011

Antoinette Bruno: What trends do you see emerging in the industry right now?
Greg Mosko: I've noticed that the merge between pastry and savory is getting a lot closer, and I kind of benefit from that by using herbs and different flavor profiles.

AB: Where do you like to go to eat pastry?
GM: Blackbird with [Pastry Chef] Patrick Fahy. I like [the Blackbird team] a lot. I've never met him, but based on the people who have come from stages and have gone there, it’s a great operation.

AB: Where do you fit into your local culinary community?
GM: Right now, it’s kind of hard to say because I still feel like I’m starting out in the local scene. This is my first high-profile, or head, pastry chef position. I’m still feeling very hungry. I’m still interested in having everybody come in and do the stages. I would like to get involved in demos and things like that; I've been back here from California for about a year and a half. I went from French Laundry to Cavallo Point with Ethan [Howard] and opened it up.

AB: It was phenomenal; it's a really nice place.
GM: I’m just getting involved in the local scene more now.

AB: If you could go anywhere for culinary travel, where would you go?
GM: Spain.

AB: What are your favorite flavor combinations?
GM: Lime and salt; apple and beer. I’m a big fan of roasted pineapple and mango. It’s pretty traditional but another one is strawberries and bananas. I’m also a big fan of huckleberries. Huckleberries are underutilized. Salt in general is also underutilized. Many pastry chefs don’t add it to ice creams or cakes.

AB: Where do you like to go eat?
GM: I'm a no-fuss Italian pizza and sausage type of guy; Hot Doug's is one of my favorite things.

AB: What’s next for you?
GM: The end result will be my own pastry shop. I'm very interested in doing cakes, not necessarily wedding cakes, but entremets cakes in a very high-end French-style pastry shop, along with breakfast pastries in the morning, a couple of savory things for lunch, lots of high-end pasties, and artisan chocolates. I don't necessarily know where I want to be in five years, but I’d love doing high-end breakfast.