East Coast Versus West Coast: Executive Pastry Chefs Weigh in on Summer Trends and Flavors of Their Coast

East Coast Versus West Coast: Executive Pastry Chefs Weigh in on Summer Trends and Flavors of Their Coast

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Both coasts of the US have renowned culinary cities, with New York City, Boston and DC, to name a few, on the east coast and San Francisco, LA and Seattle on the west coast. Like each chef, each coast and city has their own distinctive style.

With the local sourcing trend in full force, restaurants are relying on local ingredients to develop menus. So west coast and east coast often have to get creative with the native ingredients available in the season.

We asked two distinguished pastry chefs on opposite coasts a series of questions about the upcoming season and dessert trends and we got diverse answers.

Take a look at how west coast differs from east coast.

Meet the Pastry Artists

East Coast’s Molly Hanson

Molly Hanson is the Executive Pastry Chef of Himmel Hospitality Group’s Grill 23 & Bar and Post 390 in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.

Hanson approaches her desserts with the intention of evoking positive food memories. At Grill 23 & Bar, Hanson brings big flavors and a ‘wow’ appearance, true to the classic steakhouse style, with signatures like the Famous Coconut Cake and Valrhona Chocolate Layer Cake. At Post 390, Hanson’s confections cater to the urban tavern appeal with desserts that are simple and straightforward like the Banana Cream Pie.

Molly lives in Concord, Massachusetts with her family. One of her favorite ingredients is honey, a nod to her beekeeper father. At home, she maintains a beautiful garden and harvests berries, rhubarb, herbs and flowers for use at the restaurants.

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Pastry Chefs Talk Trends, Nostalgia, and Valentine’s Day Prep

Pastry Chefs Talk Trends, Nostalgia, and Valentine’s Day Prep

By Kerri Adams, Foodable Contributor

Valentine’s Day is the second busiest day of the year for restaurants. It’s a day for diners to treat themselves, and what better way to do so than with something delectable and sweet to finish off the meal?

With that in mind, has your restaurant started prepping a dessert menu that is impossible to resist this romantic holiday? To spark more inspiration, Foodable sat down with two renowned pastry chefs to get the scoop on ingredients, trends, and how they’re are preparing for the sweetest day of the year.

Meet the Men Behind the Pastry

Josh Gripper, the executive pastry chef at the W South Beach Hotel, continues to make a sugary splash with his dazzling confections at The Dutch. Gripper got his start at Butter Restaurant in NYC and went onto the nearby Café Boulud, where he met Andrew Carmellini. After spending time in France, where he worked at Provence’s famed Michelin two-star restaurant L’Oustau de Baumaniere, he returned to his roots in New York serving as the pastry chef for Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne. Now, he works alongside Carmellini at The Dutch’s Miami outpost.

Jeremy Fogg is the pastry chef responsible for the decadent dessert program at New Orleans restaurant, Emeril’s. An Orlando native, Fogg’s passion for pastry began at Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. After graduating, he worked at popular local hotels, including the Hilton Orlando, where he oversaw the dessert department for four of the hotel’s restaurants. On the side, he also operated his own private catering company for wedding cakes and desserts. In 2013, Fogg relocated to New Orleans to join the Emeril’s team, and in 2014, he was promoted to pastry chef.

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Vegetable-based Desserts are Trending in San Francisco

Central Kitchen's Strawberry-Fennel Chiffon with Black Garlic Ice Cream and Fennel-Oil Jam  | Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Central Kitchen's Strawberry-Fennel Chiffon with Black Garlic Ice Cream and Fennel-Oil Jam | Photo Credit: Huffington Post

Growing up, vegetables were the arch nemesis of sweets — parents urging “one more bite”s in order to claim the after-meal reward of dessert. As we grow up, our palate’s change — for many of us, at least — and we realize that dessert is more of a luxury. For some chefs in San Francisco, the idea of separating the two is not necessary.

The avant-garde comes in the form of beet sorbet, parsnip cake, ginger beer parsnip cake and sweet-potato donuts. Touting them are chefs like Bluestem Brasserie’s Andrea Johnson and Central Kitchen’s Ryan Pollnow. Read More