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Archive for the 'Best of New York City' Category

Bien Cuit Bakery Part II: Damn that’s good bread

Posted by Niko on February 18th, 2013

Perfect crust: Bien Cuit's Rye & Sunflower bread

Two weeks ago I wrote about Bien Cuit’s pastries because I thought they were  the main reason to visit them.  Now that some time has passed I find myself having cravings for their breads–not their sweets.  So I headed back for a third visit with one goal in mind: try more of their breads.  They did not disappoint!   As luck would have it owner/baker Zack Golper was there and took some time to chat with us. (more…)

Click on the photo for a larger size image

Earl Grey dessert from Le Bernardin Executive Pastry Chef Laurie Jon Moran

I recently checked in at Le Bernardin to see what their “new” Executive Pastry Chef, Laurie Jon Moran, was up to.  It’s been about a year since he replaced Michael Laiskonis at the 3-star Michelin restaurant and I figured that was enough time for him to put his stamp on their dessert offerings.  A quick glance at the menu supported the theory that it was now his alone, as there was no sign of  Lasikonis’ iconic egg dessert.

Mr. Laurie came to Le Bernadin after a recent two-year stint at Per Se.  Before that he worked at Picholine and spent a number of years at Daniel.  A short interview follows this feature. (more…)

The ceci cela croissant - DessertBuzz (and Serious Eats) say this is the best in NYC

This past Saturday I had the pleasure of taking two up-and-coming chefs (one on the savory side and one in pastry) on a tour of some of New York’s best desserts.   One of our stops included the slightly under-the-radar Cesi Cela for their croissant and almond croissant.  The former is considered by many, including this blog (and SeriousEats), to be the best in New York City. At this level the things that separate the excellent from the very best are subtle.  The group agreed the flakiness of the crust was perfect along with a nice buttery finish that didn’t leave you too full. (more…)

The sculpture like mint chocolate rocks on a bed of pistachio

No matter how many dessert tastings I attend I’m always amazed at how creative great pasty chefs can be.  Despite the hundreds of  restaurants in New York and the thousands of made-to-order plated desserts they offer, top chefs always seem to be able to bring something new to the table–something I’ve never seen before. And remember, I eat a lot of desserts.

Last week I visited SHO Shaun Hergatt where Executive Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee showed her creativity not just in the repertoire of techniques she employed but also in her artful, designed presentations.

Jennifer Yee’s pastry and chocolate resume is impressive.  She has worked for many big name restaurants including Gordon Ramsay at The Connaught, Gilt and Aureole.  And in addition to her Patisserie diploma from London’s Le Cordon Bleu she has a Fine Arts degree in Interior Architecture  (a link to her full bio is below).


Shawn Gawle's "Vol au Vent" dessert

Corton’s Shawn Gawle has been on quite a run lately. In September he received the 2011 Rising Star Award from In February he was named among Food and Wine‘s Best New Pastry Chefs and his “Birch & Chocolate” dessert was called out by Grub Street as one of America’s “most crazy-awesome new desserts“.   Hopefully, all this media attention prepared him for the kind of fame that results from a feature in DessertBuzz… (more…)

The beautiful black sesame panna cotta, sour cherry sphere, mandarin sorbet

2011 has to go down as one of the most exciting and tumultuous years ever for the top end of the New York pastry chef world.  On the exciting side: Bravo’s Top Chef : Just Desserts franchise finished its second season with NYC’s own Johnny Iuzzini as the head judge and a bevy of New York based pastry chefs as guest judges and hosts.  Alex Stupak, another of NYC’s elite pastry chefs, finally got the praise he deserved for his restaurant Empellon, proving once again that pastry chefs can make the switch into savory (or management) and blazing a trail for future pastry chefs to follow. (more…)

Paris New York

Today we continue to go through the sweet side of the menu of Dominique Ansel Bakery.  Go here for part I.

Paris-New York: Mr Ansel’s take on Paris-Brest features a split ring of choux pastry filled with chocolate ganache, peanut butter ganache, peanut butter cream, and caramel.  If the Mini-Me cake is a chocolate lover’s dream, then the Paris-New York is for peanut butter lovers.  The pastry is light and is used primarily as a (GDS) -that’s a ganache delivery system.  Why order it? If you like peanut butter and dark chocolate it’s a no brainer.  Ansel on the Paris-New York “a twist on the Paris-Brest, a pate a choux pastry usually filled with hazelnut cream. I call mine the Paris-New York and used chocolate, caramel, and peanuts as my flavors. Can you tell where I got my inspiration from? It’s the ingredients you’ll find inside a Snicker’s bar, my favorite candy bar.” (more…)