sweet couture is a fundraising event for the omaha restaurant association. money raised will be used toward culinary scholarships and a donation to the food bank, while highlighting the talents of omaha pastry chefs and designers, collaborating to design and create chocolate dresses to be worn by live models.
m’s pub/vivace WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A CHEF? My Mom: she would make designs in cake batter with the beaters [and] form tiny pies for me. As a child, I watched cooking shows and pretended to teach my “audience” how to create sweet delights. Seeing the joy in someone’s eyes when you give them something homemade [is] still what I love most about being a pastry chef.
the chocolates bar
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A CHEF? In Culinary School in my Chocolate/Sugar class I had that epiphany moment when I knew that Chocolate [was my dream] pastry chef [calling!]
WHAT IS THE CRAZIEST REQUEST YOU EVER RECEIVED? A cake that looked like a tree stump with the bride and groom’s initials “carved” WHAT IS THE CRAZIEST into it. But the craziest part was that she REQUEST YOU EVER RECEIVED? wanted a life size chocolate squirrel on this Outlandish bachelor/bachelorette cakes. tree stump, [and squirrels actually freak me My three year old cousin requested a out.] I searched for the perfect mold that “Red Rocketship Flying to the Moon.” was cute and storybook-ish. I loved him. It was the first time I had to find a way He was, after all, made of chocolate. for cake to defy gravity.
HOW DO YOU HOW DO YOU “ACCESSORIZE” YOUR SWEETS? “ACCESSORIZE” YOUR SWEETS? Piped chocolate designs, curly tuiles and For plated desserts I will use small dried fruits are among some of my favorites. crispy cookies, fruits, sauces, and chocolate garnishes. WHICH OF YOUR CREATIONS REQUIRE THE MOST TIME & PRECISION WORK? WHICH OF YOUR CREATIONS REQUIRE Molded chocolates are truly a labor of love. THE MOST TIME & PRECISION WORK? Every cavity of the mold is hand polished Artisan Chocolates which are each hand before being painted with different colors of crafted with specific fillings/decorations and cocoa butter. Tiny bits of gold leaf are specialty cakes which can take hours or days. added, and then [there’s still more work…]
OMAHA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION 18
the cordial cherry
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A CHEF? My Grandma Sheldon: she was always making chocolates, pies, and cakes that were as beautiful as they were delicious. Her house was filled with [sweet aromas] and ornate antiques. It’s been my goal to recreate that experience for everyone who enters my shop. WHAT IS THE CRAZIEST REQUEST YOU EVER RECEIVED? Last year at Christmas we [designed and made] six different storybook themed cordial cherry boxes in just two hours! Three Blind Mice, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, etc. The little pigs were absolutely adorable! We often get crazy requests– everything from ballerinas to Harley Davidson motorcycles! We’ve made cordial cherries that look like hamburgers, dice, elephants, polar bears, and more… WHICH OF YOUR CREATIONS REQUIRE THE MOST TIME & PRECISION WORK? Our Monarch Butterflies are true works of art– the wings are carefully shaped using chocolate and the body is sculpted by hand out of rolled fondant. Every detail is handpainted with colored cocoa butter.
metroMAGAZINE • SEPT 2012
metroMAGAZINE • The Spirit of Omaha
KATIE ARANT m's pub/vivace
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A CHEF? My mom and family. WHAT IS THE CRAZIEST REQUEST YOU EVER RECEIVED? Decorated cakes for bachelor/bachelorette parties. HOW DO YOU “ACCESSORIZE” YOUR SWEETS? For plated desserts I will use small crispy cookies, fruits, sauces, and chocolate garnishes. WHICH OF YOUR CREATIONS REQUIRE THE MOST TIME & PRECISION WORK? Wedding cakes and bigger banquet parties that require a lot or pre-planning and prep work.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A CHEF? I originally entered the pastry world with the intent of decorating wild cakes. The more immersed I became in this industry, the more my passion for plated desserts and chocolate work grew. HOW DO YOU “ACCESSORIZE” YOUR SWEETS? I love adding delicate chocolate accents to my desserts. Anytime I can incorporate color through the use of fresh fruit or fruit sorbets, it takes a dessert to the next level. WHICH OF YOUR CREATIONS REQUIRE THE MOST TIME & PRECISION WORK? I also work at Le Voltaire Restaurant Francais and we always have dessert specials running for the weekend. Many of the desserts are based on classical French technique, which take time and a lot of practice. You can’t skimp on anything or the results will be so-so.