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Archive for the 'David Burke Townhouse' Category

New York Food and Wine Festival - Sweet Event sponsored by Godiva

New York Food and Wine Festival - Sweet Event on September 29th, sponsored by Godiva

I can’t believe how many Dessert Buzz favorites are attending the “Sweet” event at the New York Food and Wine Festival this year.  It will be a truly awesome event this for any attendee, so grab your tickets asap since this event will sell out.   Pastry chefs featured on DessertBuzz  include  Francois Payard (interview) of Francois Chocolate Bar, Gustav Tzoc (interview) of Abe and Arthur’s, Andrea Jarosh of Donatella, Michelle Park of Kyotofu, Karen DeMasco of Locanda Verde, Catrine Oscarson of Mas, Ludovic Augendre and Florian Bellange of Mad Mac, Johnny Iuzzini of Jean Georges and Alison Kave of First Prize Pies.  Details below.

Don't miss Andrea Jarosh's desserts at the New York food and wine sweet event - sponsored by Godiva

Andrea Jarosh's Sfogliatella dessert from Donatella

Karen DeMasco Mini Rhubarb Pie

Mad-Mac's Macarons

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In the flesh: an actual Bomboloni

Updated: Wednesday, March 24: Bombolini confirmed open!  After many false starts Bombolini, the highly anticipated Upper West Side Italian bombolini, gelato and specialty latte cafe is now open.

The super friendly staff of the Upper West Side store

After receiving just slightly less hype than the premiere for Avatar I was concerned that the opening of Bomboloni was going to be a let down.  But after being greeted by the super-friendly staff (in Italian)  and then immediately being offered a few free samples of gelato, I was won over.   During the day they had pistachio, raspberry jam and traditional (custard and powdered sugar) filled bombolonis but by the time we arrived at 9:00p.m. they only had traditional left.   We purchased two for $2.18 including tax, which is pretty reasonable.

Pick your bomboloni carefully: this one is half the size of the other...

The Bombolonis themselves were actually really good.   I know some people are concerned that these things are  just Krispy Kremes dressed in Italian suits.   In fact they are quite different and in my  opinion much better.   For one thing, the bombolonis are much less sweet and not quite as light and airy.  There was only a small amount of traditional filling in the two that I ate.    The dough reminded me a little of fresh baked challah bread, just a little bit sweet but almost bread like, a really fresh bread.   At $1.00 each this place is going to be mobbed this spring and summer.

There are some other interesting things on the menu that I didn’t try such as toasted marshmallow or dark chocolate raspberry latte.

Bombolonis are $1 each or 6 for $5.

Dessertbuzz prediction: a  huge Grom-like response on the Upper West Side.

Recommended: Traditional bomboloni, cioccolato gelato

This one hardly had any filing at all

Updated 9:00 a.m. Friday, March 19:

Last nigth at 10:00 p.m. I spoke to the man behind bombolini last night and due to Con Ed having to prioritze customers who lost service due to the storms last week, his appointments have been postponed.  He said he is dissapointed but that people having electricity is more important.  Definitely not opening this weekend.

Bombolini looks good and is just about ready but we are going to have to wait a bit longer

Just stopped by on the way home from work and there are about 12 workers laying tile,  doing stuff in the basement.  It looks like tomorrow for first open.   I suppose they could start making donuts tonight bit there seem to be a lot of stuff on the counters.

Bombolini from Dessert Truck Works

Thanks to Flo-Fab’s reminder, I grabbed my camera and headed down to Columbus Ave and 68th Street to check out Bombolini only to find a sign in the window that said “due to Con Ed issues we are delaying opening day until tomorrow”. Damn, I was in the mood for some deep-fried dessert.   Hopefully by the time you see this post I will have eaten, photographed and reviewed these guys.  Until then, here are some other great Bombolini’s from Dessert Truck Works and From David Burke Townhouse.

With filings like peanut butter cup, Gianduia (chocolate hazelnut), Apple Filled, Raspberry Jam and  Tahitian Vanilla I think there will be a flavor for every taste.

Bombolini or donut from David Burke Townhouse

Dessertbuzz recently attended a 6-course dessert tasting atDavid Burke Townhouse with their hard-working executivepastry chef Gustavo Tzoc (pronounced “sock”).  Read Part I of the interview here.

Prior to the interview, we were treated to nearly 2 hours of some of the finest, most inventive desserts New York City has to offer. Think part Wd-50, part Union Square Cafe.  Tzoc followed the servers out and gave us detailed descriptions of the dishes and answered our questions. We also got a visit from DavidBurke who explained why creative desserts are an important part of his restaurants.

The photos and descriptions are presented in the order they were delivered to the table

Gustavo Tzoc: This is a spicy melon martini melon salad, melon and Szechuan peppercorn sorbet and Oregon Riesling consommé.

DessertBuzz: You can really taste the pepper with the melon.

GT: Yes, it’s a nice light start.  [The tasting is] going to be a little bit heavy on chocolate because right now I really like to work with chocolate and I’m really a chocoholic myself.

DB: I think this is going to be fun.

GT: I did small desserts so don’t worry, I know you don’t want to get too full but you’ll still have a little bit of flavor [in every course].  This one is a coffee toffee opera which is actually called “Opera in the Park” because of the little bench, which, please destroy it!  A lot of people don’t like to but please do so.  That’s part of the job. The cocoa nib ice cream is one of my favorites.

DB: Did you have to take a week long class at Art Center to learn how to do that chocolate bench sculpture?

GT: No, you pretty much have to wing it.  Because David used to have, 10 years ago, a little bench and the Brooklyn Bridge and then no other pastry chef wanted to do the chocolate bench–rightly so I discovered!–but then I’m like “alright why not!” and then you just have to play around and see how it comes out and that’s the final product.

DB: It’s got the little rivets and everything.

GT: That’s my favorite part.  This one is a fondant chocolate cake, which is a little molten cake that has Nutella ice cream which I just made and is amazing (laughs) and frangelico foam which is a liqueur from hazelnuts so please enjoy.

DB: How do you make a foam out of alcohol?

GT: It’s just heavy cream, milk, the liqueur, a little bit of sugar, gelatin, you make it into the little log and then you let it cool and then you scoop it into a little siphon , you put nitrogen cartridge in… And then you shake it very well and then you just pour it out!

DB: The Nutella ice cream is, you’re right,  really flavorful.

GT:  The little secret of that is it’s pretty much par-mixed at the end of the day so it’s not like it’s cooked with it [the Nutella].  The pure Nutella is mixed in and then I add it to the base and let it rest for a day.

GT: This one is called “Oz”.

Mrs. DessertBuzz: Right, it has the yellow brick road.

GT: This is a little fun that I can have in this kind of restaurant. This one is called Oz because it’s a ruby grapefruit bar like ruby slippers and it’s an emerald Thai basil ice cream with a little bit of mango and raspberry and raspberry cherry sauce and the little greens are a little bit of cilantro. It’s trying to grab between sweet and savory and a lot of the spices. For me I’m coming from the savory side too, I didn’t graduate [from culinary school]pastry, I graduated in savory, so in a way I am using those ingredients to get the savory and just bringing it into the sweet side. That’s how it should be, bring everything to the sweet side!   So just a little rest before the next chocolate.

DB: What’s the layer on top of the grapefruit?

GT: Crème Fraiche that has been made with a little bit of sugar and cream and we just layer it,freeze it and then cut it.  That’s how it looks so perfect.

While Tzoc is off preparing the next course David BurkeTownhouse Chef De Cuisine Sylvain Delpique walks briskly past our table like he’s got an omelet on the stove at that very moment.

Chef Delpique: What do you think so far?

DB: Wonderful, [your savory] appetizers were wonderful!

CD: [still walking] That’s it?

DB When I start “savory buzz” you will be my first call!

DC: [Now nearly out of the room, laughs] “OK”

GT: This one is “The cube” which actually is a chocolate caramel mousse with a little flourless chocolate cake underneath and then a swish of chocolate sauce and rice krispies feuilletine (well, my version of rice krispies). On the side are the actual cocoa nibs which are the shells of the cocoa bean where you get chocolate and it’s a little bit bitter so it helps to bring all the sweetness together.

GT:This is today’s special, the Sam Adams special.  I got a little beer from them, it’s got choco-block, which is a really rich chocolate cake made with cocoa powder and then I braise Bing cherries in the beer and a little bit of butter and a little bit of raspberry sauce. This one is chocolate frosting and Sam Adams double bock ice cream.

Before the last course arrived, owner David Burke stopped by the table to find out how many desserts we were having.  He told us a little bit about his beginnings in cuisine, which were on the pastry side.  He explained that people who come to his restaurants often remember his iconic desserts like his chocolate bench or his lollipop cheesecake tree.  He is not a huge fan of long tasting menus but might experiment with some smaller 3-course dessert tastings.  Finally, he told us that Tzoc indeed works 7 days a week and “never complains”.  He said that Tzoc gets a lot of freedom to try new things and an assistant to help out with the line.

GT: This is a little petit fours plate–a little bit of red velvet cake with cherry, chocolate cake [with] a  different kind of batter, and chocolate bars that resemble the wood part of the stove. This is white chocolate banana with a little bit of sauce in the bottom and this is a little bit of passion truffles.

DB: I saw these stoves at the party I think you served sticky buns loaded onto them?

GT: Those take so much time, sticky buns. Bakery and pastry is such a different thing. [Being] a baker is not the same thing as being a pastry chef.  I give so much props to bakers.  It takes so much patience and so much love for it.  My assistant, Isabel Daniels, is actually a bread baker which is one of the reasons I hired her because she brings so many things I actually haven’t learned from bread, which is such a big thing, and those little things, they take the whole day so I learn a lot from her.

After a foie gras starter, 2 small savory courses, 6 dessert courses and some petit fours, the Dessertbuzz team headed out.  I wondered if I ever would experience a cascade of desserts of this quality again.  One can only hope.

Read Part I of the interview here.

David Burke Townhouse is located at 133 East 61st

Phone: (212) 813-2121

Owner: David Burke

Chef De Cuisine: Sylvain Delpique

Executive Pastry Chef: Gustavo Tzoc

Dessertbuzz recently got the opportunity to attend a dessert tasting at David Burke Townhouse with their hard-working executive pastry chef Gustavo Tzoc (pronounced like “sock”).  Although extremely hopped up from all of the sugar, afterward, I managed to conduct an interview where I learned his favorite NYC bread, what desserts he eats when he’s home, and what it’s like working for David Burke (who stopped by as well).

The interview took place after 6 full-on dessert courses (although on Tzoc’s recommendation we did have one savory dish, mostly for the benefit of Mrs. Dessertbuzz whose brain is not used to being subjected to 2 hours of desserts.

DB: A lot of people think that being a pastry chef at a well-known NYC restaurant is pretty glamorous, are they right?

GT:If you really want to be out there with the high hitters you have to continuously work work work.  For example I admire Johnny Iuzzini or Richard Leech for different reasons. Richard Leech at Park Avenue because he’s so talented and he’s worked so hard and everybody could tell you that he used to work 6, 7 days a week for the first 5-7 years he was at the restaurant and Johnny because he’s just very out there.  He likes to hit a home run and for everybody to see it which is great.

DB: Right, voted most sexy chef-

GT: Which is great too!  I want people to see my desserts but I like to work as hard in the back to get it that way.  It’s not a glamorous life.  I mean it’s fun especially in this restaurant because I get to do whatever I want and that’s great, not too many places you can do that.  I can explore things, I can do different flavors and in other places [the owner] might be like “oh you shouldn’t try that”.  Here it’s like “go ahead” .

DB: Do you ever get a chance to just come in on a day when there’s nothing going on and you can just totally experiment?

GT: Oh yeah absolutely, usually on a Monday or a Tuesday after the busy weekend service and after I prepare for the week, I have a lot of recipes that I get from magazines.  It’s kind of like a springboard to new things.  Even if I don’t use the recipe I may create it in a different way but it inspires me.  Or sometimes just out of the blue I just create something completely new.  Sometimes it fails sometimes it’s great and I put it on the menu ASAP.

DB: When was the last time you took a vacation?

GT: A year and a half ago I took one week.

DB: Ok, you’re on vacation, it’s Saturday  night what do you prepare for yourself?

GT: Takeout.!  Seriously,  people ask my partner “does he cook a lot at home” and he’s like “no!”.  A lot of chefs don’t.  From time to time maybe a special event but after a while I cook so much here I’m here from 9am to 11pm so the last thing I want to see is a pan.

MDB: I heard a chef on the radio say that his kitchen is too small.

GT: Two years ago I had a Pullman so I couldn’t cook there.  There was nothing I could do, but I have the kitchen here where I have everything.

DB: Is there a dessert that you fix yourself that you couldn’t serve here?

GT: Great question, I do a lot of cakes at home if I feel like something sweet or breads sometimes. 

DB:  What’s your favorite kind of bread in the city?

GT: Levain Bakery, they’re not pretentious, they  just do it straight up and I like that.  When I want to spoil myself I get some bread from there.

DB:  have you had their chocolate chip cookies?

GT: No.

DT and MDB: [Gasps]

GT: [ laughs.]  I should have?  Are they humongous?

DB: Yes.  It’s like 3 or 4 bucks and it’s huge and really heavy and really good.

GT: So you would need a double milk glass when you buy that?  You can’t even dunk it?

DB: No way, this cookie won’t fit in any glass I know of!   I have been asking other pastry chefs what their   favorite chocolate chip cookies are and there’s been a split between Levain and Jacques Torres.

GT: Well you know every pastry chef sees a cookie in a different way.  When I make cookies my best one is a triple chocolate but I put a little more emphasis on the quality of the chocolate.  I have to taste it and see if it has any more flavors in the back so whenever I bake it even if you don’t notice it at first you’re like “oh that reminds me of something”  so I try to [achieve] a more complex flavor than you get with just any chocolate.  Not that Ghirardelli’s or Hershey’s are bad but if you get chocolate from Brazil or South Africa that have these vanilla scents or coffee in the background then it’s something that tips you off to think  “this is better”.

MDB: Do you ever  change things if people ask?

GT: Yeah I don’t like to, because if that’s how I created the dessert  then there’s a reason for it but if a person just truly doesn’t like it but likes the other elements then they’re in the right.

In Part II, David Burke himself chimes in about Tzoc.  Read Part II of the interview here.

David Burke Townhouse is located at 133 East 61st

Phone: (212) 813-2121

Owner: David Burke

Chef De Cuisine: Sylvain Delpique

Executive Pastry Chef: **Gustavo Tzoc is now at Abe and Arthurs