In this, our 12th voyage into the world of international haute pâtisserie, we wanted our first destination to be the quiet but consistent work of female pastry chefs. Until now they have been in the minority, but perhaps not for much longer.
Lauren V. Haas (view her video), the head instructor at the Johnson and Wales University, College of Culinary Arts (New England), introduces her beautiful Orange Passion and convinces us that passion and heart come before skill in the execution of her art.
The French Claire Damon tells us about her devotion to Nature and the lessons it has taught her. She shows us her elegant and personalised aesthetic approach.
Versatility is the greatest virtue for the North American Megan Galus, chef at the prestigious Park Hyatt Chicago Hotel. She manages to produce to perfection a grapefruit pavlova while at the same time preparing an incredible chocolate croissant.
The young and energetic Dutch chef, Marike Van Beurden, shows us her latest dessert plates from her current location in Hong Kong, insisting on the necessary balance between depth and form: ‘Nothing is more disappointing than seeing a beautiful dish but then taste-wise it isn’t that great’.
The Australian, Kirsten Tibballs (view her video), owner of a fabulous cooking school in Melbourne and one of our muses in so good.. magazine, transports us to a world of surprises: a landscape of ash, lava and magma, from which emerges all that is magic in life.
Janice Wong is experiencing an extraordinarily dynamic period in her professional career. She is currently preparing a second book of her free creations (No References), has renovated and strengthened the dessert menu of her 2am:Dessert Bar in Singapore and become more and more interested in 3D printers for her edible art performances, while still finding time to create an enjoyable line of pastilles with a bamboo base.
The Russian, Maria Selyanina, avoids overly sweet desserts and the most hackneyed savoury ingredients. Instead, she develops a pastry that is clean, personal and modern.
Loretta Fanella is one of the major figures in restaurant desserts in Italy. Her unique aesthetic sensitivity is evident in the two desserts she presents here, which, furthermore, contain hints of a technical form that has immense potential.
Claire Heitzler requires little introduction as the outstanding professional leading the dessert team of Lasserre (Paris). In this new collaboration with so good.. she presents one of her top desserts and one of her most recent sweet creations.
Next is the Colombian Melissa Coppel, chocolatier by profession and dessert lover by vocation, who always tries to bring freshness and imagination to her chocolate bars, bonbons and desserts. She co-manages a chocolaterie with Jean-Marie Auboine in Las Vegas and they have gained notoriety in the United States as a force for creativity and elegance.
We continue on our journey by taking a look at the new menu for 2014 of restaurant Mugaritz, which plays around with the rules now more than ever. They include techniques and optical illusions that do not overshadow the permanent search for those essential flavours, such as in their “Ensalada fría de leche”,which Andoni Luis Aduriz (view his video) says contains “the tastiest dairy cream in the history of restaurants”.
The well-known French maestro Yann Duytsche, returns for the third time to the pages of so good.. magazine by inviting us for tea. Through his invitation we tasted two attractive cakes whose main ingredient is the infusion of two varieties of tea: Earl Grey on the one side and spicy Chai Organic Absolut on the other.
Why should textures and finishes always be polished, smooth and shiny? This is the question Javier Guillén asked when he started thinking about his 2014 collection. He presents us with the answer in the form of two original cakes “iron and wood.”
We visit the Italian Denis Dianin, who projects a very individual style that stirs the senses and who is unflinching when it comes to standards of quality and precision.
Then there is young Andy Vorbusch, the owner of a pastry shop located in Düsseldorf called SÖÖT. Here, he pours all his nonconformism into desserts like Cold Brewed Iced Coffee, the result of an experimentatal process with a special Japanese machine that brews cold coffee and at the same time reduces its bitter qualities.
We enter into the depths of one of the world’s most successful concepts, L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat of Valrhona. And we provide quotations in this edition from the leaders of the three schools currently operating at full capacity: Philippe Givre (Tain L’Hermitage, France); Fabrice David, in Tokyo; and Thierry Bridron in Paris.
The 21 Brix Collective brings together a group of young Spanish pastry chefs who get together periodically to share their talents and creativity. In one of their recent meetings the main focus was on fermented dough.
The Israeli Eran Shvartzbard (view his video) combines the aromas and flavours of his country with a refined technique for some of Europe’s best pâtisseries. The result is a playful balance between tradition and technique, and between fun, colour and well defined flavours.
Susumu Koyama and his quest for authentic and unique local flavours, such as the unusual smoking process that customize his exquisite ganaches, have made this professional one of the most dynamic figures in the Japanese pastry scene.
Heading up the Almacén OTT Gourmet and professor of the OTT College in Bueno Aires, Luciano García is now one of the greatest promoters of the qualities of European pastry in Argentina, while bringing to it his own personal touch. Here, he brings us three elegant creations.
The desserts of Ryan Clift of the Tippling Club (Singapore) are completely dedicated to the playful, through developing visual games and surprising textures that bring diners to a unique gastronomic climax.
From the unique stage of the Ikarus (Salzburg) restaurant, young Dominik Fitz shows great maturity in developing desserts of apparent simplicity but which contain a studied technical complexity.
And we end our voyage with the figure of Jeff Oberweis, who has made research and development one of the most valuable aspects of his business. This pastry chef is today a familiar brand, synonymous with the elegance and distinction in Luxembourg.