Jacques Torres has a lot on his plate right now and I don’t mean just chocolate nibs. A few weeks ago he hosted a party in honor of the opening of Kings of Pastry, the new D.A. Pennabaker documentary about the M.O.F. Pastry Award (go here for the DB review). On the same night, he appeared on the premiere of Top Chef: Just Desserts as a celebrity guest judge.
After exhaustion set in, Team Dessertbuzz cornered Mr. Chocolate, distracted his publicist and made him answer some weighty questions.
Jacques Torres’s achievements in pastry could fill a small book so here’s a short summary:
After achieving just about every distinction for pastry in France in 1986 Torres received the infamous Meilleur Ouvrier de France (M.O.F) medal. Later Torres worked at Le Cirque before slowly shifting gears to pursue chocolate making.
Now, based in New York, Torres has four chocolate stores here and one in Atlantic City in Harrah’s. Besides chocolates, Torres is known for his chocolate chip cookies which DessertBuzz ranks #1 in New York.
DessertBuzz: [noticing Torres has a motorcycle helmet in his hands] Did you ride here tonight?
Jacques Torres: Yes, on my motorcycle. A BMW 650.
DB: Francois Payard rides a 1000cc GSXR Suzuki – is that how all you guys get around?
JT: Well, I traded in my scooter for the bike a little while ago and it is great for moving about New York City.
DB: Been doing any fishing lately?
JT: As a matter of fact I just delivered a striper to Wylie Dufresne [at WD-50]
DB: How does that work? You just swing by the restaurant and hand the maître d’ a fish?
JT: I catch it then immediately bleed it and get in on ice right away. Then in a garbage bag and into the top case on my motorcycle – sometimes I have to bend it slightly to make it fit. Then I drive fast with the fish.
DB: Did you stay [at Wd-50] and eat the fish with them?
JT: No, I don’t know what they did with the fish. But I really love to eat at Wd-50, love Wylie’s cooking, he is such a talent, he’s doing some great things there.
[Wd-50 said they cooked it up with garlic and served it with a fish chowder]
JT: One time when the fish was too big for the top case I wrapped it in cellophane and draped it across the handlebars and rode to the FCI.
DB: You have a lot of fish stories.