Blog Directory - Blogged
  • Top 5 Must-Read Articles
  •  

  • 2012 Great Gathering of Chefs

  • Desserts from NYC's best
  • Reviews of NYC's scones
  • Who has the best chocolate chip cookie in New York?
  • Full coverage of the 2007 New York Chocolate Show
  • Bouchon

 

Eric Wolitzky's Bundt Cake at the New York Chocolate show

Last week at the New York Chocolate Show DessertBuzz caught up with Top Chef: Just Desserts contestant and pasty chef Eric Wolitzsky for a follow-up interview.  He was in the main kitchen theater about to make a chocolate gingerbread bundt cake for a standing-room-only crowd.

DessertBuzz: The last time we spoke I never even asked you how you became a pastry chef.

Eric Wolitzky: I was actually in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and after that, after I escaped, I decided, I had to embrace what was in my heart so I enrolled in the French Culinary Institute.  That’s basically, how I became a baker.

DB: What was your favorite challenge on Top Chef: Just Desserts?

Close-up of Erik Wolitzky's chocolate gingerbread bundt cake

EW: The bake sale!  Come on! [Eric won this elimination challenge]  It was so much fun to work with the high school kids they were a great inspiration to us.  I also liked it when we worked as a team.  Even though we didn’t seem like we always got along we were actually pretty close.

DB: On the show a big deal was made of the fact that you didn’t you think of yourself as a real pastry chef.

EW: For me I got on the show and being the only baker that’s the title that I embraced.  I mean I was trained at the French Culinary Institute but I love bundt cakes and brownies and nobody else from the show did that really.

DB: Was the highlight of your experience when Johnny Iuzzini praised your talent and skills?

EW: It was!  I finally got to hear what he was thinking.  You know, I saw him the other day and it’s so great to have his support especially because we do such different things and for him to really like what I do and to talk about it on the show–

DB: It seemed really genuine from he viewer’s standpoint.  Zac told me he cried when he watched the show after you came back from that judges table and announced “I’m a chef!”

The Baked bakery Brookie

EW: He (Johnny) was really rooting for me – he wanted the underdog to go through.

DB: Any other validations or warm fuzzy moments from guest judges?

EW: Nancy Silverton’s (of La Brea) support and comments, that was great for me as a baker – when she told us we were the winning team what you didn’t see was the 5 minutes of complete silence (from shock).

Eric before winning the elimination challenge

DB: Would you do it again for Top Chef: All Stars or a reunion-type show?

EW: Yes, but I would know what I was getting into.  It would be different.  It wouldn’t be “Eric turning into a chef” but “Eric the chef what does he do now?”.

DB: How has it been at Baked have people been stopping by?

EW: You know, I’m in the back and people get nervous about asking for me to come out or going in back.  You have to understand that a lot of people In Red Hook don’t have TVs – none of my staff even have TVs!

DB: Red Hook doesn’t strike me as the type of place where people fawn over a reality TV show star.

EW: No.  On the weekends we do get a lot of tourists though.  Some people do make their way back and that’s nice.

DB: I think people are  going to be surprised to learn that you were rooting for Morgan in the finale and not Yigit or Danielle?

EW: He’s awesome and very inspirirational, I mean he’s a pain in the ass to work with sometimes, and in the dessert wars challenge what they didn’t show was that Morgan didn’t wan’t to do it the way Danielle and I wanted to.  He was really opposed to the comfort food.  He really fought it, but eventually we came together and got behind it and worked as a team.   Morgan and I really respected each other and never butted heads.   We just had drinks this past Wednesday (they are both doing ads for Godiva).

Morgan not too into Eric and Danielle's idea - they won anyway.

And that was the last question I was able to ask before I was overtaken by a mob of chocolate show attendees [all jacked up on sugar and chocolate].

DB: Ok, good luck Eric!

EW: [over crowd noise] Thanks!

Eric Wolitzky is a Pastry Chef at Baked bakery in Red Hook NYC.  Go here for Eric’s first DessertBuzz  interview.

Interviews one and two with Zac Young are here.

Fabio Viviani’s take: Part I is here.  Part II is here.  Part III is here.

Go here for an interview with Dannielle Kyrillos.

For a recap of the finale go here.

For a recap of episode 9 go here.

For a recap of episode 8 go here.

For a recap of episode 7 go here.

For a recap of  episode 6 go here.

For a recap of episode 5 go here.

For a recap of episode 4 go here.

For a recap of episode 3 go here.

For a recap of episode 2 go here.

For a recap of episode 1 go here.

Go here for a look at Johnny Iuzzini.

Official Bravo Bios for the judges: Johnny Iuzzuni – Executive Pastry Chef Jean Georges, Hubert Keller – Owner/Chef Fleur De Lys, Gail Simmons – Food and Wine Magazine, Dannielle Kyrillos – Daily Candy

Go here for the DessertBuzz Top Chef: Just Desserts preview page.

2 Responses to “Top Chef: Just Desserts’ Eric Wolitzky is a chef! (part II)”

[...] delicious comfort style desserts.  See the DessertBuzz interview with Erik rom last year here and our first interview with Erik here. Eric Wolitzky's Bundt Cake at the 2010 [...]

Could I get the recipe for Eric Wolitzky’s marbled citrus blackout cake that he demonstrated at the 2011 Chocolate Show. Had the recipe last year and have lost it!! Thanks.

Something to say?