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Sweet Seasons: Fabulous Restaurant Desserts Made Simple
     

Sweet Seasons: Fabulous Restaurant Desserts Made Simple

by Richard Leach, Boyd Hagen
 

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"Richard Leach has inspired an entire generation of pastry chefs. He's widely imitated . . . he has single-handedly changed the way desserts look around the country in a lot of restaurants." --Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill
"The first time I encountered Richard Leach's desserts, I became absolutely incoherent. My notes from that meal are garbled and filled

Overview


"Richard Leach has inspired an entire generation of pastry chefs. He's widely imitated . . . he has single-handedly changed the way desserts look around the country in a lot of restaurants." --Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill
"The first time I encountered Richard Leach's desserts, I became absolutely incoherent. My notes from that meal are garbled and filled with exclamation points."--Ruth Reichl, New York Times
"Richard Leach, the pastry chef, should have his hands licensed as deadly weapons, like boxers." --Bryan Miller, New York Times
Food critics, nationwide, have exalted him. Food Arts magazine dubbed him the "Pythagoras of pastry," in recognition of his revolutionary genius as a pastry chef. Master pastry chefs, everywhere, have tried to imitate him and failed. Now, at last, in this beautifully illustrated guide, Richard Leach reveals the secrets behind his fabulous talent to inspire home bakers as he has professional pastry chefs.
In Sweet Seasons, Chef Richard Leach shares 400 of his building block recipes that can be combined to create 100 of his favorite, original desserts, organized by the seasons--so bakers can take advantage of the freshest available ingredients--and richly supplemented with 113 color photographs illustrating the plated desserts and their assembly. Each recipe is structured so as to allow readers to prepare all or any part of the dessert, based on level of expertise and availability of ingredients. For example, a summer dessert of Warm Peach Strudel with Sweet Corn Panna Cotta breaks down the recipe into its components (e.g., roasted peaches, vanilla crepes, corn panna cotta, peach sauce, honey tuille garnish, etc.) to allow the reader to "mix and match." Throughout, Chef Leach provides useful substitution tips and plating directions, and includes a complete Resource List, which provides sources for ingredients and equipment.
Richard Leach (New York, NY) is Executive Pastry Chef at Park Avenue Cafe. He was named 1997 Pastry Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation and one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Art and Design.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Leach, executive pastry chef at the Park Avenue Caf?, creates architecturally heady and refined desserts. Organized by season, each recipe in this treasure trove actually contains several sub-recipes: Roasted Pecan Napoleon with Chilled Pecan Terrine is a two-for-one deal, for example, and Caramelized Banana and Milk Chocolate Custard with Banana-Praline Terrine and Banana Fritters has three recipes that can be used separately. Each recipe contains assembly directions that include suggestions for piping sauces and placing garnishes. Unusual ingredients (such as jicama in Frozen Banana Timbale with Jicama, Lime and Mint and Chamomile with Warm Blueberries in a Strudel Shell with Chamomile Sauce) elevate dessert, so it is just as important as the entr?e. Professional techniques and equipment are called for here, but home patissiers who are not afraid to experiment may be inspired by the meticulously thoughtful combinations such as Roassted Pineapple Tart with Basil Ice Cream or Fresh Figs with Crisp Corn Pudding and Frozen Fig Torte. There is no guidance on ingredients-where to find tamarind paste, for example, so novices beware: much assembly required. However, the dessert titles alone could stand as poetry, with the added plus that results are delicate and innovative. (Publishers Weekly, September 10, 2001)

"..presented in a clear way with useful tips and easy to follow instructions.." (Hospitality, 1 February 2002)

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
If you've been lucky enough to eat at the Park Avenue Café, Aureole, or La Côte Basque, you may have already been wowed by Richard Leach's desserts. You wouldn't have forgotten them. They're usually tall, with clean geometric shapes, and maybe a sugar squiggle or two; they feature a variety of tastes (hot, cold, creamy, crunchy) on a single plate and take advantage of in-season ingredients.

And one other thing: They are absolutely stunning.

Most of the dessert plates feature four or five components. Take, for example, a Three-Layer Chocolate Malted served in a glass with a chocolate cigarette, on a plate next to a homemade ice cream bar and chocolate tuiles. Or, for spring, Rhubarb with Crisp Rice Pudding: deep-fried rice pudding floating on a small pool of rhubarb sauce, piped with dots of sabayon sauce -- plus rhubarb and vanilla parfaits on linzer biscuits, and a honey tuile filled with rhubarb compote and rice pudding. (Some of these dishes take longer to describe than to eat!)

The thought of duplicating this level of sophistication and presentation in a home kitchen may be a little daunting, but Leach takes a reassuring, professional step-by-step approach with clear instructions on assembly, timing, and presentation. You can also create just one or two of the components within a single dish and grow into the full recipe as your skills evolve. Leach also gives the recipes for his basic finishes -- a sabayon sauce, sugar squiggle garnishes, honey tuiles, and chocolate sauce. All told, Sweet Seasons delivers 400 building-block recipes that can be combined to create 100 very showy desserts. (Ginger Curwen)

Publishers Weekly
Leach, executive pastry chef at the Park Avenue Cafe, creates architecturally heady and refined desserts. Organized by season, each recipe in this treasure trove actually contains several sub-recipes: Roasted Pecan Napoleon with Chilled Pecan Terrine is a two-for-one deal, for example, and Caramelized Banana and Milk Chocolate Custard with Banana-Praline Terrine and Banana Fritters has three recipes that can be used separately. Each recipe contains assembly directions that include suggestions for piping sauces and placing garnishes. Unusual ingredients (such as jicama in Frozen Banana Timbale with Jicama, Lime, and Mint and chamomile in Warm Blueberries in a Strudel Shell with Chamomile Sauce) elevate dessert, so it is just as important as the entr e. Professional techniques and equipment are called for here, but home patissiers who are not afraid to experiment may be inspired by the meticulously thoughtful combinations such as Roasted Pineapple Tart with Basil Ice Cream or Fresh Figs with Crisp Corn Pudding and Frozen Fig Torte. There is no guidance on ingredients where to find tamarind paste, for example, so novices beware: much assembly required. However, the dessert titles alone could stand as poetry, with the added plus that results are delicate and innovative. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471387381
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
10.50(w) x 10.50(h) x 0.81(d)

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Meet the Author


RICHARD LEACH, Executive Pastry Chef at the Park Avenue Cafe, was named Pastry Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 1997. He has twice been recognized as one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs of America by Chocolatier magazine. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he has worked at Aureole, Lespinasse, Symphony Cafe, and La C?te Basque.

BOYD HAGEN is a photographer who lives in New York City with his family. His photographs have appeared in Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and Fine Cooking. This is the fifth book he has photographed.

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