The American restaurant revolution of the past 20 years has focused attention on a new generation of pastry chefs--men and women whose work has gained recognition beyond their field. In The Making of a Pastry Chef
, pâtissière-author Andrew MacLauchlan presents more than 30 of these talented chefs, exploring with them what it is they actually do, how their own interest in dessert making developed and expresses itself, career trajectories, and more. Woven among the autobiographical and career data are more than 50 of the chefs' signature recipes, approachable formulae for the likes of Chocolate Polvarones (Mexican wedding cookies from Wayne Brachman
, Mesa Grill, New York), Persian Mulberry-Poached Fiori Figs (Sherri Yard, Spago, Beverly Hills), and Pear Financier with Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream (Sebastien Cannone, The French Pastry School, Chicago). The book will interest those contemplating a pastry career in particular, but will also appeal to readers curious about food work in general, as well as modern restaurant operation.
Beginning with a brief history of sweets (birch syrup was a prehistoric treat), the book then explores American dessert traditions, in the home and out. Other topics include desert-making inspiration, formative baking experiences, and customer demands and expectations, among others. The book also details a typical workday for a number of the chefs--it's a long day on your feet--and explores current and foreseeable pastry trends. MacLauchlan also provides a general-use flavor combination chart plus 60 photos depicting the dessert specialties and the chefs in action. Concise biographies of the chefs conclude this compelling account of lives spent in the service of the insatiable human sweet tooth. --Arthur Boehm
From Library Journal
As the title indicates, MacLauchlan, pastry chef at Santa Fe's Coyote Caf?, looks at the training, skills, and passion necessary in pursuing a career as a pastry chef. He organizes his book according to various aspects of this career, including its history, inspirations behind choosing this way of life, education and training, as well as traditions and trends. Unfortunately, the personal anecdotes of well-known pastry chefs that make this work interesting also tend to bog it down. Where one or two stories might make for an enjoyable and valuable reading experience, more than that results in a tedious repetition of advice. Interspersed among these oral histories are recipes that vary in level of difficulty. Still, this book is recommended for larger cooking and career guidance collections.ADebra Mitts, Burlington Area Lib., IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.