Friday, October 12, 2012
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
Sunday, September 30, 2012
A Short History of Cake Decorating
Monday, September 24, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
new Hyatt NOLA Pastry Chef, I'm not jealous no... but they probably let him have more than 2 untrained staff :(
The weekend Chocoholics Dessert Bar is just part of young pastry chef's art
Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 8:00 AM
Behind Jimenez, individual plates of chocolate bread puddings, beignets thickly coated with powdered sugar, small chocolate doughnuts and crepes filled with dulce de leche sit under heat lamps, ready for the crowd. An urn full of hot chocolate is ready, as are cups and warm whole and 2-percent milk to flavor with an array of chocolate lollipops.
Now the all-you-can-eat Chocoholics Dessert Bar is ready to open as well.
The restaurant serves a breakfast buffet in this space every morning, but the chocolate extravaganza is only on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. during the live jazz sets. The buffet of about 45 desserts is $22.95, or half price with a receipt from dinner at Vitascope Hall, the sports bar across the way.
Life, art and chocolate
The dulce de leche in the crepes and atop miniature chocolate pecan pies is a clue to the chef's Argentine heritage; atop the buffet, a 60-pound steampunk-style chocolate sculpture speaks volumes about his present and future.
"I make molds out of everything," Jimenez said, gesturing to the threaded bolts in the sculpture. "I go down to engineering and ask them to give me a couple of these" to cast in silicone. "I just make them out of whatever I can find."
Jimenez came to New Orleans in 2011, when the completely remodeled Hyatt Regency reopened after Hurricane Katrina. About 1,000 square feet were added to the pastry kitchens, where he supervises 23 pastry chefs. The pastry kitchen includes a chocolate room just for Jimenez: "Nobody else goes in there," he says.
This is where he plays with his toys: airbrushes, edible glitter, silicon molds.
The pastry kitchens make every bit of bread, pastry and dessert served in the big hotel, which has 1,200 rooms and four restaurants, in addition to room service. They turn out everything from hot dog buns to breakfast croissants to pies to the fennel ciabatta served in Borgne, the John Besh restaurant on the first floor overseen by executive chef Brian Landry. The day Jimenez was setting up this particular chocolate buffet, the hotel had served breakfast, lunch and dinner for a convention of 1,200.
The creative challenge
The dulce de leche crepes "are a classic back home," Jimenez said. In Argentina, he had the passion to create food, but "chefs and cooks are not a big thing there. My parents wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer." Instead, by 19, he had put himself through culinary school, then through an Ecole Lenotre in Buenos Aires.
"I was working at this hotel as a sous chef when the pastry chef just quit," Jimenez said. "I jumped into it. I didn't know what I was doing. It was a fun challenge."
He loves the creative side of desserts and breads. And his time as a savory chef influences his work, as evidenced by his dark chocolate truffles with rosemary and creme brulee with truffle oil.
After working in Patagonia, Panama and Venezuela, Jimenez came to the United States in 2009 to work in a boutique hotel in Boulder, Colo., where he learned English.
He has loved the year-plus that he's been in New Orleans.
"There's a lot going on in this city," Jimenez said. "It's different from Colorado, for sure."
He dines out often and, a former polo player, he keeps horses in Bridge City.
"It's an extremely artsy city," Jimenez said. "I love the sculpture garden" at the New Orleans Museum of Art. "I try to apply all that. I look at a lot of modern sculptures and try to apply it to what I do. A lot of it is very industrial and modern."
His art influences seem to be paying off. Jimenez's entry in the first-ever Big Gateau Show at the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience this spring won a people's choice award. Now, in his chocolate room, he's practicing for a big competition in August in Atlanta.
Rising to the occasion
In addition to chocolate and dessert spaces, there is a very large bread-baking area packed with imported ovens, an Italian dough-cutting machine, giant bags of sea salt, rustic bread bowls and much, much more. One recent day, a cook was running a spiked roller over the surface of dough in a sheet pan, making lavosh to break into rough pieces for bread baskets. Jalapeno cornbread muffins, cheesecakes and pretzels were just a few of the items on racks, ready to go to destinations around the hotel. Two shifts of bakers keep the ovens humming.
Anything and everything pastry comes out of here.
"Yesterday," the chef said, "we made 85 king cakes for a banquet."
Executive pastry chef Gonzalo Jimenez shared some of his recipes. At the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, he uses Valrhona chocolate, around 40 pounds a day. He recommends Felchin brand glaze, a coating and glazing product, for the truffle coating and the white chocolate bark.
Dark Chocolate and Rosemary Truffles
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
2 cups couverture dark chocolate (86 percent cocoa)
3 cups dark chocolate glaze
Make the ganache filling: Heat the cream and rosemary in a saucepan, until just before boiling. Remove from heat. Pour the cream through a fine strainer.
Pour the hot cream in a bowl with the couverture dark chocolate. Let the chocolate and cream sit for 3 minutes. Then whisk until it becomes one smooth chocolate mixture without any lumps. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Use a melon baller to scoop the chocolate ganache into balls and place them on a tray. Refrigerate until they harden, about 20 minutes.
Coating and assembly: Melt the dark chocolate glaze in a double boiler.
Pull on rubber gloves and roll the cold ganache balls with your hands to make them round. Dip into the chocolate. Put truffles on a tray covered with parchment paper. Let truffles sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and then refrigerate until they harden.
White Chocolate Bark
Makes about 1-1/2 quarts
1 cup toasted almonds
1 cup pecans
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup raisins
1 cup crispy rice cereal
4 cups white glaze chocolate*
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cover the surface of a jelly roll pan with plastic wrap or a silicon mat.
Melt the white chocolate coating in a double boiler. Pour the chocolate onto the dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour the mixture on the prepared pan. Smooth out the preparation with an offset spatula.
Refrigerate until it hardens. Once chocolate is set, break into rustic pieces.
*Chef Jimenez recommends Felchin brand white glaze chocolate.
If you don't want to make homemade dulce de leche, the chef says to look at Latin markets for Nestle's La Lechera brand.
Dulce de Leche Crème Brulee
Makes 4 servings
4 cups heavy whipping cream
11 egg yolks
1-1/4 cups sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups dulce de leche
Additional sugar for topping
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, vanilla extract, and dulce de leche. Heat until steaming, but do not boil. Remove from stove.
Bring water to a boil in a separate tea kettle, and preheat oven to 225 degrees.
In a bowl, mix egg yolks and the remaining sugar. Proceeding very slowly, pour the hot cream a little bit at a time into the egg and sugar mixture. With a hand mixer, mix at low speed until the batter becomes smooth and uniform. Pour mixture through a fine strainer to eliminate any lumps of yolk.
Pour the batter into individual-size ramekins. Working near the oven, place the ramekins in a deep pan and carefully pour the boiling water into the pan and around the ramekins to create steam. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the mixture is set, with a solid consistency.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, cover with sugar and caramelize with a torch.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
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Friday, March 30, 2012
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Sunday, March 25, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Job Description/the Broadmoor Colorado 3/15/12
Title: 500101 Baking & Pastry Extern
Back to listing - Apply Prepare desserts, pastry, cookies, breads and specialty items according to the menu. Assist the chef as necessary
Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned. Maintain quality productsPrepare food for breakfast / lunch / dinnerMaintain a clean, organized and sanitary work areaAdvise chef when food inventory is depletedOperate all kitchen equipment properlyPrepare requisitions slipsMust meet minimum 12 week requirement of employmentSpend time in both the pastry shop & the bakery
Skills / Requirements
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
High school diploma or general education degree (GED) and come form an accredited & approved extern school. Must be fluent in both oral/written English language. Must be able to use knives and other kitchen equipment.
Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before small groups of customers or employees of organization.
Ability to work with mathematical concepts. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather);work near moving mechanical parts; extreme cold (non-weather) and extreme heat (non-weather). The employee is frequently exposed to fumes or airborne particles ;toxic or caustic chemicals and outdoor weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to work in high, precarious places; risk of electrical shock; work with explosives; risk of radiation and vibration. The noise level in the work environment is usually loud.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; talk or hear and taste or smell. The employee is occasionally required to sit and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 60 pounds. Occasionally push and/or pull 100+ lbs and lift up to 100 lbs with assistance. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Back to listing - Apply
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I had to share this little non paying customer!!! easy to please LOL Australia I think!!
Thursday, March 8, 2012
doughnuts glorious donuts
review from King Arthur Flour website
Doughnut Plant – New York City
While it is certainly no longer a secret, Doughnut Plant on Manhattan's lower east side is not a destination for most visitors to NYC. However, if you are walking east down Grand Street through Chinatown and happen to go a little too far, you will end up at 378 Grand which is home to New York's Doughnut Plant. What you would never realize by looking at this modest shop is that it has seven sister stores in Tokyo, Japan.
Doughnut Plant-NYC was started by Mark Israel in his apartment in 1994. He started out by delivering his doughnuts on his bicycle throughout lower Manhattan. As word spread he quickly outgrew the kitchen in his apartment and moved into a converted space in the basement of his apartment building. Shortly thereafter, with fame for his doughnuts spreading he opened his first "real" shop on Grand Street.
I have been eating these doughnuts for a few years now, and they are incredible. I'll be perfectly honest: I hate most doughnuts. But these almost defy the doughnut definition that we have come to know. First, Mark uses King Arthur Special Flour. KA Special is mostly used for breads. But this flour, made from hard red spring wheat with moderate protein, gives these doughnuts their characteristic chew. The interior is a creamy color, not white like so many other doughnuts made from bleached flours. But what really sets these doughnuts apart are the glazes. My favorite is Vanilla Bean, but Mark uses many natural flavorings that are bright and often seasonal.
Recently, Doughnut Plant added jelly-filled doughnuts. These are not what you think they are. First of all, they are square, with a hole cut out of the center. These doughnuts are engineering marvels. Instead of a glob of jelly injected into the center of the doughnut, like most, there is jelly all around the interior of the doughnut. So every bite contains jelly - not too much, not too little. They are a delight to eat.
In 2004, Mark and his partner Jun Goto opened their first shop in Tokyo. They now have seven shops, with at least three more planned by year's end. I traveled to Tokyo recently to check out these shops. I was very surprised. They have managed to duplicate the Doughnut Plant-NYC experience but in a Japanese sort of way. They have all the regular doughnut offerings that the New York store has, but they also serve an "Uguisu-Mame and Soybean Flour Bun" (I must confess I don't know what that is, but you can see a picture on their website). They are using KA Special in the shops in Tokyo, but they are also using the same equipment and processes. So the end result is that whether you're in the original Doughnut Plant in New York or the new stores in Tokyo, the taste and experience is virtually the same. Even if you aren't traveling to Japan soon, you can still check out their shops in Tokyo via their website.
— Tod Bramble