Q and A

I like to troll Craigslist and other job posting sites for pastry jobs.

Why?

I like to know where other pastry chefs work and who hires a pastry staff.  I have always done this, no matter how happy or unfulfilled I am at a job.   I look at the listings in New York, Chicago, Portland, and the Bay Area for the most part.  I like to know my niche in the industry.  And yes, I am also a little nosy.

Clarklewis in Portland recently posted an add for a pastry chef and included a series of questions.   Since I am clearly employed and don’t live in the city, I won’t be sending them my resume or answers.  But I though it was interesting and thought I’d offer a glimpse into my own pastry chef personality to you.

I’d love to hear your answers too, whether you are a pastry chef or just an enthusiast.

Favorite 3 desserts?

To eat; butterscotch pudding, brownie sundaes with hot fudge, tiramisu

To make; composed desserts, tall proud American layer cakes, pies of all sorts

What would your last meal on earth be?

A big hot dog with ketchup, mustard, and chopped onion, plain potato chips, and an icy cold coca cola from a bottle.

-Name one thing you can’t live without?

For me; coffee

For my desserts; real vanilla beans

-Chef Pants: Checks, Stripes or Solid?

Solid black for chefs, checks for cooks, strips are tolerable, but NEVER anything with chili peppers or prints.  Never.
-What is your favorite cookbook?

On food and cooking by Harold McGee.

-Celebrity Chef?

A contradiction in terms.  Chefs work in kitchens, celebrities are personalities on TV and in the media.  Acting as a chef and acting as a celebrity are different things.

-Favorite farmers market?

The university district farmers market.  It’s big, it runs year round, it’s full of real farmers, bee keepers, cheese makers, foragers, orchard keepers, snacks, flowers.  It’s by my house, and I always run into people I know.

10 Responses to “Q and A”

  1. peabody says:

    Favorite 3 desserts? Bread pudding. Key Lime Pie. Pumpkin Cheesecake.

    What would your last meal on earth be? my mother’s spare ribs, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and dump cake

    Name one thing you can not live without? freshly grated nutmeg

    Chef Pants: Checks, Stripes or Solid? back in the day solid, I only have one pair left and they have the Kool Aid man on them. They were a gift but I still like them.

    What is your favorite cookbook?
    The Trellis Cookbook by Marcel Desaulniers

    Celebrity Chef:
    Wolfgang Puck since he still seems to be involved in his actual restaurants.

    Favorite Farmers Market: Everett Farmers Market because of it’s proximity.

  2. lindsey says:

    i always keep my eye on the job market too, in my city as well as others. cookwise, it’s nice because you get a sense of “oh, that place seems to always need somebody, must be a reason for that!”

    but those questions, that is why you have a face to face interview. and if someone would rather i answer them and enclose my resume then that tells me how they feel about taking the time to talk to me face to face, and how they value communication with employees.

    or don’t value it, i should say.

  3. it's me austin from work! says:

    5 favorite desserts? Dylon, Dylon, Dylon, Dylon, Dylon. See you tomorrow.

  4. robert says:

    dessert-I know it’s cheesy, but I love panko fried green tea ice cream, then any bread pudding, and any panna cotta.
    last meal- a stack of Yuki’s spicy tuna tempura rolls
    can’t live without- butter
    pants- I can’t believe they still make those chile pepper pants, and people still where them, ughhh
    book-Paul Bertoli-cooking by hand
    celebrity chef- I’m so embarrassed, I actually do like Batali
    Farmers Market- U district, for the Mangalitsa belly, and the oyster guy

  5. Leslie Evans says:

    What would your last meal on earth be?

    I’m gonna have to go with my grandmother’s white bread, toasted and smeared with fresh unsalted butter, Jif Creamy Peanut Butter, my grandmother’s homemade strawberry jam, and a tall glass of milk.

    -Name one thing you can’t live without?

    Bread. I’ve tried. I can go for a few weeks but by the end I want to kill people.

    -Chef Pants: Checks, Stripes or Solid?

    Solid. Don’t get saucy!

    -What is your favorite cookbook?

    “The Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition”. They combined the old standard and the 1997 version. They were both good cookbooks, but quite different. Now it’s the best of both worlds.

    -Celebrity Chef?

    Julia Child! All the rest are pretenders to the throne.

    -Favorite farmers market?

    The Detroit Farmer’s Market. I haven’t been there since I was a kid but it was my first and I remember two things: Eating a piece of fresh honeycomb…(Heavenly! And then you can chew on the wax for hours afterward!) and seeing a butchered goat’s head (fur was gone, eyeballs weren’t). I was riveted.

  6. Mori says:

    Favorite 3 desserts?

    creme brulee, chocolate soufflé with raspberries, meringues (which I can -never- seem to make right. ><)

    What would your last meal on earth be?

    My mom’s swedish meatballs

    -Name one thing you can’t live without?

    bread. Especially sourdough. Preferably hot out of the oven.

    -Chef Pants: Checks, Stripes or Solid?

    Well, not being a chef, I don’t have to wear ‘em… but solid would be my preference.

    -What is your favorite cookbook?

    Bernard Clayton’s New Book of Breads. It’s not particularly all-purpose, but one of my favorite things to make is bread, and it’s the best I’ve used, plus gives a good breakdown of timings and everything. It’s never led me wrong so far.

    -Celebrity Chef?

    Well, I’m not terribly fond of the whole celebrity chef thing, but food personality person would probably be Alton Brown. Amuses me greatly, and I like that he talks about some of the science, instead of ignoring it entirely like many shows do.

    -Favorite farmers market?

    Santa Monica’s on 3rd Street Promenade. It might not be the biggest, but it’s well stocked, year round, and has some really neat people.

  7. Neil says:

    3 Fav desserts:
    Creme Brulee, Valrhona Choc Delice, Tiramisu parfait

    Last Meal:
    Toughie, probably tasting menu @ Ducasse, Paris or el Bulli

    Can’t live without: My MAC knives

    Chefs pants: Solid all the way

    Celebrity Chef: does Alain Ducasse qualify ?, MPW, Heston B take your pick

    Farmers Market: Bridport, Dorset, UK. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is there, guy is so passionate it’s infectous. Probably little known on your side of the pond, but google him top bloke.

  8. Casey says:

    Favorite 3 desserts?
    Panna Cotta, Fresh Summer Berries with Marscapone and Honey, Nutty Ice Creams

    What would your last meal on earth be?

    North Carolina (Lexington-Style) Barbeque, Hush Puppies, Slaw, Sweet Tea, and Peach Ice Cream

    -Name one thing you can’t live without?

    Tea

    -Chef Pants: Checks, Stripes or Solid?
    Stripes, Checks, Solids. In that order.

    -What is your favorite cookbook?

    On food and cooking by Harold McGee.

    -Celebrity Chef?
    Heston Blumenthal

    -Favorite farmers market?
    Union Square

  9. dana says:

    Everyone, thanks for responding, I have really enjoyed reading all your answers! keep them comming :)

  10. Allen says:

    Favorite 3 desserts?
    Yogurt Pot De Creme Tiramisu, Mint chocolate chip Ice cream

    What would your last meal on earth be?
    French Laundry Tasting menu

    -Name one thing you can’t live without?
    Tongs

    -Chef Pants: Checks, Stripes or Solid?
    Solid.

    -What is your favorite cookbook?

    The Big Fat Duck cookbook

    -Celebrity Chef?
    T. Keller

    -Favorite farmers market?
    Union Square

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