Portrait of the pastry artist as a young man: Alex Stupak of wd-50, serious as a deacon.Photo: Jessica Kokinos-Have
Pastry chefs like Sam Mason (the man who’s sharing the experience of opening a new restaurant with us) are often on the cutting edge of New York cooking these days. The three chefs whose desserts we’re highlighting today all have major reputations. So if you go to wd-50 or Chanterelle tonight, make sure you leave some room. (Presumably that won’t be a problem at Room 4 Dessert.)
Alex Stupak, wd-50: (Irish Coffee)
Replacing Sam Mason wasn’t easy, but Stupak has lived up to his predecessor’s legacy with creations like (Irish Coffee), a frozen coffee capsule with a whiskey-caramel center served with chicory sponge cake, hazelnut sorbet, and freeze-dried coconut milk. Says Stupak: “We try to push our ingredients and create new techniques so there’s always a ‘wow’ factor ”
Kate Zuckerman, Chanterelle: Meyer-lemon Chiboust with tangerine ice cream
Zuckerman is more of a classicist than Stupak and Will Goldfarb, but no less creative for that. Her baked-to-order Meyer-lemon soufflé is sweet and aromatic, like the lemons themselves, and served with coconut tapioca, fresh passion fruit, and a Meyer-lemon marmalade. Zuckerman garnishes the finished product with mint and lemon chips. “It’s a winter dessert but still “light, refreshing, and very seasonal,” she says.
Will Goldfarb, Room 4 Dessert: Pom Pom Yeahs 518
Goldfarb is pretty far out there, and this new dessert typifies his edgy craft: It’s essentially a pomegranate mousse with a pomelo-and-pastis purée served with chestnut ice cream and a coconut powder. The 518? It’s the first three digits of new assistant chef Pam Young’s phone number. “So many people ask for her number we thought we should go ahead and give them a head start,” says Robert Truitt , the man she is replacing. “They can try to get the rest of it, but they usually fail.”