This is awesome. I couldn’t have said it better myself, so I will allow Pastry Wunderkind Michael Laiskonis to say it for me, and all my sugar-yielding kind:
We are pastry chefs. We are the red-headed step-children of the culinary brigade. You’ll find us in the basement, or in some hard-fought and carefully carved-out corner of the kitchen. We are protective of that space, our equipment, our atmosphere. We are particular. We strive to be masters of several disparate disciplines. We are sugar burners, cream puffs, the keepers of ‘Candyland’- and to too many who don’t know any better, we must certainly be just plain ‘bakers’ (not that there’s anything wrong with that). We are respected, feared, and ignored.
We are pastry chefs. We treasure our autonomy within the rigid structure around us. We are often left to fend for ourselves and we embrace a do-it-yourself spirit. We are part of a community. We band together, share ideas, and push each other. We take full use of modern technology to create a subterranean network, to shrink the physical space between us. We speak a different language. We seek to explain our intentions through references others just don’t understand. We look at things through a slightly different lens.
We are pastry chefs. We find comfort in repetition and sameness. We are precise, clean, and dexterous. We prefer control to chaos. We are also spontaneous and prone to occasional fits of whimsy. We are students of subtlety. We seek to provide maximum impact. We must predict the future as we cook. We cook with clear intention. We are constantly receptive to inspiration, and that inspiration often comes from the unlikeliest of places. We like to break things that aren’t broken, just to see what happens.
We are pastry chefs. We find pleasure in hidden things. We are often most proud of what you rarely ever get to see. We want to let you in on our secrets. We like to speculate as to what your secrets might be. We are in the nostalgia business, and we have a unique opportunity, nay, a responsibility, to tap into your psyche. We recognize the powerful potential of food as a means of dialog. We want to make you happy.
We are pastry chefs. It is up to us to leave a pleasant last impression. Our work is often an afterthought of guests already satiated by savory. We admit that what we provide is mere luxury, yet we know we satisfy your innermost cravings. Each of us, at one time or another, has wished we could simply send dessert first. This is our chance. We just want to kill you with dessert.
It’s so true! And let’s be honest, how many of you would rather sit down at a nice restaurant and “ruin” your meal by ordering dessert first? It’s a prime childhood desire. And now that we’re adults, I say, why not go for it? Order that lemon panna cotta; chocolate ganache torte; banana cream pie…or hell, all three! I guarantee you’ll make the pastry chef’s night when you do.