Guest Judge

The renowned pastry chef tackles the topic of desserts and why our chefs struggle with them.

Apr 23, 2008

blogs_tc_407_02.jpg Are you a Top Chef fan? If so, did you know about chefs from past seasons' experiences with desserts?
I don't really have time to watch TV. From time to time I may catch a Top Chef marathon on Bravo and spend an afternoon bringing myself up to date. I remember seeing Elizabeth Falkner judge one episode. I don't remember much about it though. Is dessert something that a lot of chefs struggle with?
A lot of savory chefs just never take the time to really learn the ins and outs of the pastry kitchen. They always figure there will be a pastry chef around to take care of things. What is a "chef's dessert?" (a term mentioned in a previous season)
In my mind a chef's dessert is one with very basic use of pastry techniques. They are usually more about adopting savory side techniques and flavors. For instance roasted fruit with a simple sauce or a basic chocolate cake or panna cotta. What desserts were you expecting to see?
I figured some of them would play it safe and make flans, panna cottas, maybe even a parfait. I expected some to take a chance and go for it. By now the contestants should know there will be a pastry chef somewhere along the way. You should have a couple desserts in your repertoire just for that reason. I definitely would not have tried to make a souffle if i did not have the technique down pat.