Michael Laiskonis on the Power of Good Dessert

Laiskonis. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

“As we tucked into the wet, spongy tres leches, I asked Jesus how it made him feel. Born and raised in the Bronx, he made frequent visits to his grandmother in Mexico as a child. It took a lot [of] coaxing, but Jesus eventually, shyly began to describe every memory connected to the tres leches his grandmother would buy from the bakery in her small town. He remembered her plates and sitting at her kitchen table. Visiting the shop itself was part of the ritual, so he also began to recall the sweet smells and even the color of its walls. ‘That,’ I said, ‘is what we’re trying to do!’ —Former Le Bernardin pastry chef Michael Laiskonis, who’s now the creative director at the Institute of Culinary Education, isn’t exactly sure if food is art, but he definitely knows how it works. [Inquisitive Eater, Earlier]