Monday, April 14, 2008

CH rant

is this why pastry chefs get the shaft? In a long review of Epic Roasthouse the original chowhound poster can only describe the dessert in the most vague terms--a butter cake, with caramel sauce. Apparently the dessert was delicious, and its taste still in the poster's mind days later, which is the goal, right, in preparing delicious desserts, but the level of description brought to the other courses was utterly lacking with respect to the last course.

Dessert. Really not an afterthought for some of us out there.

Searching around for info on the "butter cake" I find it's an almond brown butter cake with toffee sauce and blood orange curd. Their desserts actually seem quite pricy for the number of components on the plate!

What is the contract between sweet chef and sweet eater? Do we owe them better food, more diverse food, something more than warm chocolate cake and vanilla creme brulee? Do they owe us more understanding of the tricks up our sleeves, the various items of our trade, the difference between a sponge cake and a butter cake, a creme brulee and a pot de creme and a panna cotta? When will we get the same level of rapt prose discussing our endeavors as that given to any number of garde manger items, main dishes, etc?


rich said...

Not enough respect is ever given, I afraid. True, dessert is a memorable part of the meal…and some say the only thing you really remember will is the first course and the last course…which unfortunately usually ends up being the low man on the totem pole garde manger or pantry cook…and the ‘afterthought’ pastry cook. If not the same person doing both. Usually this is the newbie station in the kitchen, because the “experienced” or “bad ass” line cooks go to the hot line.

WTF?!?! These should be power stations…some one with pride and experience should be doing the cold food and the pastries. It takes better cook to ‘taste’ cold food and season it to perfection and a well rounded one to be able to work pastries in the right way.

Naunga said...

If I had a nickel for every time I saw a "warm chocolate" cake on the menu. Ugh, I was so over this dessert as soon as it showed up on the menu at Red Lobster.

We're the unsung heroes of the kitchen. I mean, when the line and/or waitstaff screw up a table they're rarely come back and ask for a comped steak at the end of the meal.

I wish we could get more recognition, but I suppose that's why a lot of pastry chefs open their own dessert shops.

Busy all the time. said...

hi naunga-

weirdly enough, the restaurant i currently work at is the only place i've ever been in food memory that doesn't *and hasn't, in 3 months* have a warm chocolate dessert.

we have one chocolate dessert, right now a frozen chocolate mousse...everything else is fruit-centric.

i would love to get more recognition for the work we do, absolutely. because it isn't easy.