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From the PublisherWithout a doubt, the must-have gift for the serious baker,professional or aspiring pro-pastry chef on your holiday list isFrancisco Migoya’s Elements of Dessert. How canI say that with such confidence? Two reasons: 1) Having seen theway other accomplished pastry chefs interact with Francisco Migoyaat different industry events over the last three years, suchas StarChefs and Top 10 Pastry Chef Awards–Migoya isclearly someone they admire and respect. And 2) Because none otherthan Michael Laiskonis, Creative Director of theInstitute of Culinary Education (ICE) and generally regardedas one of the top pastry chefs in the US told me
“Francisco Migoya is probaby the most important pastrychef in America right now”– high praise indeed!
Part pastry school textbook, part coffee table book, this is amonster 537 page volume that provides the “blueprints”for hundreds of different desserts in every dessert category. Asidefrom the recipes and guidelines for petite fours, pre-desserts,dessert buffets and cakes, the book also has many adventurous andfun plated dessert recipes, such as “Warm pandan leaf-infused caramelized cream, black sesame genoa bread, hibiscusglaze, popcorn shoot (all part of the same dessert).
The book truly covers all the bases. As the review on StarChefs,who recently named it one of the top books of 2012, notes:
“[the book] delves succinctly into the creaming method,the custard method, the time and place for a meringue, the properapproach to composed cheese courses…The starkly beautifulpictures of Migoya’s modernist creations are, so to speak,the icing on the intricately composed cake”
As I mentioned, Migoya is frequently sought after for his adviceon both the technical and aesthetic aspects of pastry. JosephBaker, a well-known pastry chef and a Pastry and Bakinginstructor at Le Cordon Blue in Dallas TX, who is oftenconsulted on advanced baking issues himself, said this about Migoyaand his book
“He [Migoya] is actually the reason I now teach. He shareshis creations and improves the overall landscape of food. ChefMigoya is a true pioneer in our industry and his book, TheElements of Dessert, is a perfect guide to contemporarypastry… any Migoya book is a must have.”
One of his former students at the Culinary Institute ofAmerica (CIA) echoed those sentiments:
“[Migoya] brings an intensity [to his work] that few of myother instructors could match in my time there. So much so that Iwas afraid of him for some time!” —DessertBuzz
Even in a long career, it's never a bad idea to brush up on thebasics, especially when it comes to pastry. The Elements of Dessertdoes just that, and no wonder. It's written by CIA Chef Instructorand International Chefs Congress Presenter Francisco Migoya, whodelves succinctly into the creaming method, the custard method, thetime and place for a meringue, the proper approach to composedcheese courses, and the various types of dough. Heck, it even has ashort section on “the method for tasting food,” in caseyou were doing it wrong (hint: you might have been, as Migoyaoffers a spreadsheet on flavor compatibility and “frontalversus background flavors”). But it also offers hundreds ofbrilliantly confounding and innovative recipes, from plateddesserts to mignardises and entremets and even dessert buffets. Thestarkly beautiful pictures of Migoya’s modernist creationsare, so to speak, the icing on the intricately composed cake. byNicholas Rummell —StarChefs