Toasted cream, espresso reduction, raw Madeira puree, cocoa nib, bubble chocolate and chewy cocoa
"I also create desserts for a second restaurant, Trentina, which got me thinking about Italian desserts rather than the crazy American versions I’m accustomed to. So, coffee and espresso were my starting point. My inspiration came from a visit to the art museum and the art of Picasso, which is modern and progressive. I really love textures in my desserts, so I bring that with the cocoa nibs and the chewy cocoa, which is basically dried-out chocolate puree. The surprise element here is the bubble chocolate, which is melted dark chocolate that is thinned with high-quality olive oil and then aerated."
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh
Buddha’s hand granita, toasted rice, isomalt glass, myrrh powder, coconut and frankincense gelee
"This is the first dessert I created for The Greenhouse Tavern and it was Christmas time, which explains the name. I had just come from Moto (where Homaro Cantu pushed the limits of molecular gastronomy) and wanted to showcase my talents. Myrrh comes from trees in the Middle East and its oils deliver an earthiness. Frankincense provides a counterbalance with a floral quality while the Buddha’s hand brings sweetness. The texture is provided by the toasted rice and the isomalt glass (the thin layer covering the dessert). The coconut is the baseline flavor and it holds everything together. It’s funny how all my desserts can place me at a certain point in my life. They help tell my story."
“What I like about the Greenhouse Tavern is that I can get really crazy with desserts and I can create versions that are more approachable; the kind of stuff you might find at a fair. All my desserts start with a rooted idea and in this case it was a desire to do something rustic, and my baseline was a fritter, which offers a hot element. From there, I added something cold (ice cream), something crunchy (pistachios) and something saucy (the syrup). I always have a sauce with my desserts and some sort of surprise. In this case the surprise is torched cinnamon, which offers a smoky flavor.”
Crispy phyllo cannoli, chocolate birch mousse, orange peel puree, vanilla cocoa raisins, stout mayo and tobacco leaf ice cream
“I was walking in the woods with my dogs and I was inspired by all the trees. That was my starting point, so I created the cannoli, which has a somewhat woody appearance. I added to that by actually using birch to steep in a chocolate mousse. Like lots of chefs I get hooked on an idea, and using woods other than pine is my current infatuation. Under the cannoli I’ve created a orange peel puree, which adds a slight bitterness. My surprise element here is tobacco leaf ice cream. I steep pipe tobacco in cream for 15 minutes. It brings a complexity to the dessert that I love."