Who says dessert has to wait until after dinner? You may find sumptuous confections from Four Seasons pastry chefs hard to postpone. From architectural hot chocolate to a tarte au framboise worthy of its own Pantone colour, these courses are ready for their close-up.
At Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta’s chic La Patisserie, you can be a kid in a debonair candy store. The boutique’s gold-leaf ceiling, robin’s-egg blue walls and sparkling chandelier set the stage for Executive Pastry Chef Lorenzo Sollecito’s exquisite sweets. In his artful Montblanc, smooth chestnut crèmoux and a Chantilly of mascarpone and Madagascar vanilla rest on a crunchy alpen butter cookie. Sink into the settee and prepare to evoke Instagram envy. It’s almost too pretty to eat.
Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta
Executive Pastry Chef Imad Boukli’s version of the Jean-Georges classic is a decadent mixture of crisp and smooth – 70 percent dark-chocolate cake with a liquid centre, paired with homemade vanilla ice cream and spritzed with a fragrant coffee foam. “I love watching our guests’ reactions once they break the crust of the cake and the warm chocolate melts its way through the frosty vanilla scoop,” Boukli says. “It’s a decadent, hot-icy experience for all dessert lovers.”
Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay
Patrice sources almond flour from his hometown – Brooklyn – for the macaron, and rich, sweetened cream cheese replaces the customary ganache filling. The delicate beauty is finished with carrot cake crumbs and a dusting of cinnamon. “Between Seasons Restaurant, in-room dining, private events and more, our pastry team has to find inspiration for hundreds of different desserts each month,” says Executive Chef Andrew Court. “They’re all fantastic, but I think the most successful creations are influenced by some type of special connection, whether that be a hometown ingredient, a take on a classic recipe or, in this case, both. It’s amazing to see their creativity come to life.”
Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC
French techniques flourish along with two Michelin stars at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong restaurant Caprice. By bestowing on le baba au rhum (centre) the flavours of mint and lime, pastry chef Nicolas Lambert gives it a Cuban kick. The elegant trilogie de chocolat (top left) combines the caramel crunch of feuillantine with milky Valrhona Chantilly and white chocolate namelaka, a Japanese ganache whose name translates to “creamy texture.” Lambert’s framboise (top right) is a study in subtlety that celebrates the marriage of raspberry and lemon. “Pastry is pleasure for the palate,” Lambert says. “I associate flavour with texture, and I like to play with three or four textures at a time. Once I have the textures and the flavour right, I think about presentation. For me, the most important part of pastry is that it’s tasty – or gourmand, as we say in France.”
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
Executive Pastry Chef Suraj Karmakar introduces flavours of India into an sophisticated dessert served at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver’s modern YEW restaurant. Heated cream is infused with crushed red chillies, then strained, before joining with milk, eggs, sugar and 64 percent bitter chocolate to create silky fondant. The spicy, soft-centreed dessert is paired with Karmaker’s soothing green cardamom ice cream, a nod to the custard-like frozen Indian dessert kulfi.
Executive Pastry Chef Thierry Mette’s raspberry tart is sensory delight of multiple dimensions. Sweet dough filled with almond cream is topped with vanilla Chantilly, then bejewelled with a tower of fresh raspberries and a dusting of icing sugar. “It’s an iconic dessert that represents the best in French pastry techniques delivered in its simplest form,” says Mette, a 28-year Four Seasons veteran from Brittany, France. And it’s just as easy on the palate as it is on the eyes.
Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca
A pièce de résistance for après-ski since the Resort’s opening in 2010, this architectural beverage turns heads when it’s served tableside at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail’s Remedy Bar. An attentive server delivers a mug topped with a homemade marshmallow on a chocolate lattice, and then carefully pours steaming hot Valrhona chocolate and steamed milk from a traditional French pot. The finishing touch? Chocolate shavings and a dollop of whipped cream. “When we first started serving it, we actually had the marshmallow inside the mug,” says Executive Pastry Chef Andrew Schweska. “But soon we realized our guests wanted something more experiential, so we put the marshmallow atop the lattice, providing the ultimate hot chocolate experience.”
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Vail
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