Throughout most of episode 1 of Top Chef: Just Desserts it was difficult to know what to make of contestant Zac Young. He clearly had one of the strongest and funniest personalities of the new show but what about that giant bow tie and all those zippy one liners- he seemed to be having far too much fun to be a legit pastry chef, let alone a threat to win. Then he made the top 3 for his Vanilla Bean Cupcake.
Another episode and 10 quotable quotes later, Zac has shown that he has skills in the kitchen (Ho Ho’s w/ Red Hot cream/ Hot Tamale and licorice sauce anyone?) and is also a fan favorite, (see the results of the live in-show poll).
This past Friday (after episode 2 aired) DessertBuzz caught up with telegenic pastry chef to what kind of filling he’s made of.
DessertBuzz: So Last night I had some of the desserts at Flex Mussels [where Zac is executive pastry chef] – the Lemon Meringue Pie in a Glass and four of your signature donuts. – salted caramel, pbj, fluffernutter and chocolate.
Zac Young: That’s sneaky!
DB: How did the lemon meringue dessert come about?
ZY: When I was young, one memory from Cape Elizabeth, ME was of all the seaside fish shacks. They always had pies out on the ledges cooling. The light seafood meals really lent themselves to pies for dessert. So I wanted to make a lemon meringue pie but since I can’t do anything “by the book” I decided to make it without a crust and in a glass. I also hate making pie crusts – and tarts! At Bouchon, I was making crusts for 14 hours a day – so I really developed an aversion to tarts with shells. Instead, the graham cracker crumble takes the place of the crust.
DB: Which of your signature dishes at Flex Mussels do New Yorkers seem to respond to? (more…)