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Without a doubt, the must-have gift for the serious baker, professional or aspiring pro-pastry chef on your holiday list is Francisco Migoya’s Elements of Dessert.  How can I say that with such confidence?  Two reasons: 1) Having seen the way other accomplished pastry chefs interact with Francisco Migoya at different industry events over the last three years, such as StarChefs and Top 10 Pastry Chef Awards–Migoya is clearly someone they admire and respect.  And 2) Because none other than Michael Laiskonis, Creative Director of the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) and generally regarded as one of the top pastry chefs in the US  told me

“Francisco Migoya is probaby the most important pastry chef in America right now”– high praise indeed!

That is not a staged "intense stare" - that's the level of intensity Migoya seems to operate on.

Part pastry school textbook, part coffee table book, this is a monster 537 page volume that provides the “blueprints” for hundreds of different desserts in every dessert category.  Aside from the recipes and guidelines for petite fours, pre-desserts, dessert buffets and cakes, the book also has many adventurous and fun plated dessert recipes, such as “Warm pandan leaf -infused caramelized cream, black sesame genoa bread, hibiscus glaze, popcorn shoot (all part of the same dessert).

The book truly covers all the bases.   As the review on StarChefs, who recently named it one of the top books of 2012, notes:

“[the book] delves succinctly into the creaming method, the custard method, the time and place for a meringue, the proper approach to composed cheese courses…The starkly beautiful pictures of Migoya’s modernist creations are, so to speak, the icing on the intricately composed cake”

A steady hand: Migoya working at an event

As I mentioned, Migoya is frequently sought after for his advice on both the technical and aesthetic aspects of pastry.  Joseph Baker, a well-known pastry chef and a Pastry and Baking instructor at Le Cordon Blue in Dallas TX, who is often consulted on advanced baking issues himself,  said this about Migoya and his book

“He [Migoya] is actually the reason I now teach. He shares his creations and improves the overall landscape of food. Chef Migoya is a true pioneer in our industry and his book, The Elements of Dessert, is a perfect guide to contemporary pastry… any Migoya book is a must have.”

Francisco Migoya's world class eclair from Killed By Dessert

One of his former students at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) echoed those sentiments:

“[Migoya] brings an intensity [to his work] that few of my other instructors could match in my time there.  So much so that I was afraid of him for some time!”

Francisco Migoya's red velvet truffles from his session at StarChefs

There you have it–a rock solid gift idea–if the recipient doesn’t like it you can blame us at DessertBuzz.  More info below.

Top 10 Pastry chefs of 2011 by Dessert Professional

A cross section of Migoya's black forest pop from his Top 10 Pastry Chef Awards dessert

The book lists for $65.00 but seems to be available on Amazon for $41.00.  You can buy the book on Amazon.com here.  More coverage of Francisco Migoya on DessertBuzz is here.  Follow DessertBuzz on Twitter for updates on Francisco Migoya and all NYC dessert news.

One Response to “Elements of Desserts the must-have pastry book for the holidays”

[…] reviewed the first book, Francisco Migoya’s “Elements of Dessert“ back in December.  The second book, Christophe Felder’s Patisserie: Mastering the Fundamentals of French […]

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