Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Palm Springs Film Festival

The New Year started off busy at the hotel. First we were making desserts in the kitchen for 900 people for the gala, an after party for the rich and famous, including some well known faces, followed by a Variety magazine brunch, honoring Jonah Hill the next day.

My two bite desserts for the gala included:
White chocolate-Grand Marnier truffles topped with house made candied orange, mini coconut macaroons dipped in bitter-sweet chocolate, raspberry financier cakes, and mini pecan pies topped with whipped dark chocolate ganache.

Desserts for the brunch included:
Chocolate-coffee opera cake, lemon-brulee tarts with raspberries, hazelnut brittle and yuzu gelee cubes.

  White chocolate-Grand Marnier truffles with candied orange

Mini pecan pies with chocolate ganache 

Lemon creme brulee tarts with raspberries

Hazelnut brittle

$2000 can of caviar for the VIP section

Here are a couple of articles from said events (note the food is mentioned, always a plus):
25th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festiv
Actors Lupita Nyong'o, Elisabeth Röhm, Amy Adams, Tom Hanks and Shea Whigham attend the after party for the 25th annual Film Festival awards gala at Parker Palm Springs. / Getty Images for PSIFF
Following the gala, an after-party was held at the Parker Palm Springs where all the film festival honorees and VIPs were staying. As a result of this convenience, every one of the honorees and presenters stopped in. Some only stayed a few moments, but others partied on. Mathew McConaughey and wife Camila Alves were described by many bystanders as “staying late and having more fun than anybody.”
Amy Adams, Camila Alves, Mary Bono and her daughter; Bradley Cooper, Bruce Dern, Idris Elba, Tom Hanks, Naomie Harris, Lupita Nyong’o, Amy Pascal, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Rohm, David O. Russell, Shea Whigham and many others were seen visiting not only with each other but interacting with many guests.
The gala’s presenting sponsor, Cartier, had a small private section for their special guests but, overall, the atmosphere was one of inclusiveness and camaraderie.
Gala producer Richard DeSantis, who also oversaw the after-party, described both the décor and the mood as “Palm Springs disco chic — a younger vibe than in previous years.”
A well-heated tent was attached to the Parker, giving the party an indoor-outdoor ambiance despite the chilly night. The contemporary white furnishings, some of which featured intriguing interior lighting, were sophisticated yet comfortable.
Roy Phillips, recently voted “Best DJ” won many more fans with the lively dance and party music he supplied.
Every aspect of the Parker Hotel was praised by all, from its cooperative staff to its delicious and plentiful supply of party foods. A friendly, added touch to the catering was a large supply of bite-size chicken pot pies donated by Spencer’s Restaurant.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival closes Monday afternoon.


Jonah Hill said naysayers have misunderstood the lesson of “Wolf of Wall Street” at Variety’s Creative Impact Awards and 10 Directors to Watch brunch honoring him at the Parker Palm Springs on Sunday.
“I personally take away the message from the film that this behavior, this lifestyle, leads to a very bad ending,” the actor said. “I think the movie is not glorifying this behavior, it is showing that it leads to bad places whether their judicial punishment doesn’t reflect that is one thing. Where your life ends up, who you are as a person, is another.”
PHOTOS: Jonah Hill, Colin Farell attend Variety gala
Marisa Tomei, who introduced Hill, Variety’s Creative Impact in Acting honoree, called him, “my friend, a sweetie pie and who’s handsome,” adding, “he can make us laugh, but he has got the craft to back it up.”
Saving Mr. Banks” director John Lee Hancock, who accepted the Creative Impact in Directing award, had this advice for up-and-coming helmers: “What part is Colin Farrell going to play? That is always a good harbinger of success,” referring to the thesp who intro’ed him.
Hancock said he’s not competitive and reflecting on the gala said 2013 was a good year for film. “I want all these films to do well. I do adult dramas and I want another job.”
Sharing a moment from the previous night when he presented the composing kudo to Thomas Newman, Hancock said he had a tough time with the Teleprompter, which gave him “a crick in the neck.
Of Variety’s 10 to Watch, all but helmer Clio Bernard was present — Paul Duane, Anthony Chen, Gita Pullapally & Aron Gaudet, Gren Wells, Amma Asante, Ben Falcone (with wife Melissa McCarthy), Justin Simien, Dome Karukoski and Maya Forbes.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

More Mister Parker's plated desserts

Nectarine tart, with yuzu sabayon, fresh strawberries and strawberry sorbet, with isomalt decor and creme fraiche quenelle.

Brandy cherry-almond tart, with brandy cherry ice cream and griottes.

Mango panna cotta with rice pudding, sesame brittle and a chilled coconut-strawberry 'soup'.

A new menu addition, baba au rhum, mini rum syrup soaked cakes, with chocolate crackle, mocha mousse and sparkling raspberry sorbet.

Strawberry-mint shortcake with lavender sponge, and a side of vanilla anglaise.

The perfected mango panna cotta, over forbidden coconut rice pudding, sesame brittle, yuzu sabayon, passionfruit gelee with yuzu foam.

A spin off of the mango panna cotta for a banquet event, made with lemon sabayon.

For a special table, coconut macaroon, raspberry financier, hazelnut cluster, brandy cherry ice cream, lemon sabayon tart with white chocolate mousse.

Lemon sabayon tart with blood orange sorbet and raspberry sauce.

A cute tart plate with passionfruit sauce.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Parker weddings

An outdoor wedding right outside the Gene Autry residence with a cupcake tower, red velvet, key lime and chocolate with caramel chocolate ganache, and an awesome dessert spread, including coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate, mini pecan pies, lemon meringue pies and fruit tarts.

One long table for 120 people.

Red velvet cupcakes.

Key lime cupcakes.

Mini pecan pies with whipped cream.

Another wedding at the same time in the ballroom with s'mores cookies, peanut butter cups, apple crumble pies and French coconut macaroons.

A cute idea for seating assignments

Delicious cupcakes with salted caramel chocolate ganache.

One of quite a few cupcake towers. A little more cost effective, and nice for outdoor weddings.

Red velvet, chocolate with caramel salted chocolate ganache, and caramel cupcakes.

Chocolate mousse tarts for dessert bites

Praline chocolate tarts

Apple crumble tarts with shortbread topping.

A different wedding with an even larger dessert spread, including fruit tarts, cheesecake bites, lemon meringue pies and chocolate mousse tarts.

The beautiful set up outside with chandeliers.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

August Wedding

Here's a wedding cake and dessert spread for 150 people. The cake has a lemon sponge, filled with passionfruit curd, and covered with buttercream. Along with the cake comes French macarons, cake pops and lemon meringue tarts. 

The cake is decorated with peonies and roses.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Parker Palm Springs

I have been out of the blogging world for most of the year, mainly because I moved back to California after almost 3 years, and became the executive pastry chef at the Parker Palm Springs hotel. Of course along with orders for Verbena pastries working with Kristianne and for the hotel (including Norma's casual dining, Mister Parker's fine dining, room service, wedding cakes and banquet/catering events) I am quite busy. So let me finally show you some photos of my journey here since May. I will do my best to post treats and recipes as often as I can, so check in regularly. Also here is the hotel's facebook page if you're curious about recent updates going on:

The view of one of the crazy hot summer days about to be over (fyi, it was even hotter in the kitchen. Not good for butter cream or chocolate at all!).

My welcome card, along with my fruit plate. I inhaled it, as I was so hungry after the drive from Arizona.

Taking a walk over to the lemonade stand.

The lovely hammocks on the Parker estate.

One of many recognizable works of art at the hotel.

One of the desserts for my tasting to get the job, back in april. Buttermilk panna cotta with moscato sabayon, pistachio tuile, roasted crimson apricots and toasted ground pistachios.

Another tasting item: Citrus-ricotta doughnuts (which are now on the breakfast menu at Norma's) with lemon cream and citrus macerated strawberries.

The pastry chef in the kitchen working on the new Mr. Parker's dessert menu.

One of my many summer specials for Mr. Parker's, a sorbet trio, mango, pineapple and coconut.

The peanut butter mousse dessert, which was on the menu prior to me starting, but I altered the plating, as well as the recipe of the mousse, making it lighter. I've changed all the ice cream recipes too, making them lighter, less ingredients, no corn syrup, just simple creme anglaise, cream, milk, sugar, egg yolks, lots of vanilla beans and a little dash of salt. This dessert is served with raspberry ice cream. It's one of the top sellers, along with my butterscotch pot de creme.

Raspberry-vanilla French macarons, which you get at the end of your meal at Mister parker's. We change the flavors monthly. Currently they're caramel macarons, filled with salted caramel ganache.

Check out the photo of the macarons:

Another popular summer special:
Fresh lemon berry pavlova with chardonnay sabayon, meringue and warm chocolate sauce.

Almond cake with orange chocolate sauce, lime cream and a citrus salad, served with orange-cardamom ice cream.

My fresh strawberry tart, with strawberry coulis, and a creme fraiche quenelle for the Mister Parker's Bastille day celebration.

The 1 year anniversary cake for a couple that had their wedding at The Parker, served at Mister parker's. Lemon chiffon cake, soaked with limoncello, filled with passion fruit curd and fresh raspberries. Decorated with whole egg butter cream, fresh raspberries and gold dust.

A very popular special, that made it on the new menu. Dark chocolate souffle cake (gluten free), served with Grand Marnier sauce, brandy cherry ice cream and soaked brandy cherries,

A freshly made crepe, filled with peach ice cream (containing fresh roasted peaches and peach schnapps), topped with balsamic strawberries and balsamic glaze.

Peach and passionfruit parfait with vanilla sauce.

Some delicious mini fruit tarts for a Dr. Murad event in catering.

Okay.. I think this is a good start.. hopefully the pics will make you want to come by and try some of the desserts.
I'll post more regularly.