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" A pastry chef's lifespan in a restaurant is limited. You have to open a bakery or pastry shop. There's only so far you can go in a restaurant. "
" As kids, my mom would always let us help bake, and if we behaved, we got to lick the beaters clean. "
" First and foremost, food needs to be delicious. It should pop and explode with flavor. Food should please all the senses. "
" Desserts are last, but don't let them be least. "
" I am classically trained in French pastry, but I am American and have a natural curiosity and playfulness that comes through in my cooking. I like to present flavors that people are familiar with in unique combinations and forms that may surprise them. "
" My dad said, 'If you want to go out with girls and go out with your friends, get a job.' I found one at the local country club as a pot washer in the kitchen. "
" We never really know what people are capable of until the only person they can rely on is themselves. "
" If you would ask me some of the ingredients that people are surprised by that could appear on my menu are such things as bleu cheese, vegetables like parsnips and rutabaga, bacon, pork fat, fois gras, truffles, and olives. "
" When you think about French pastry, one of the most classic traditional pastries is the eclair. An eclair is like a blank canvas that can be easily adapted to any environment. Ingredients are the most important aspect of a perfect eclair, and they need to be used at their peak. "
" I have pictures of me feeding deer and possums with baby bottles. I am such an animal lover. "
" When I was a kid, I would come home from school, and my mom would buy the industrial-size Famous Amos cookies or Chips Ahoy when I was lucky. And I would sit in front of the TV set with a glass of milk... and I would dump cookies in there, smash them with my spoon, and eat cookies and milk with a spoon watching 'The Dukes of Hazzard.' "
" It's funny, you know, growing up, you are always introduced to people as your uncle this or your aunt that or your cousin this. By the time I was in my 20s, I had no idea who I actually was or wasn't related to. It's kind of a running joke in the family. "
" Whenever a chef cooks for his own ego rather than his guests, he/she set themselves up for ridicule and failure. In the end, it's the service industry. Our goal is to make our guests happy through our cooking. "
" You can tell a lot about your cooks' personalities by their music collection. I personally have such an eclectic collection, partly due to the combining of music libraries with girlfriends past. "
" I prefer dark chocolate. I like French over Belgian... Valrhona is the best. "
" The inspiring thing is that people are often more experimental with their desserts than other courses. It allows me to be more creative and excite people. "
" I can't even kill a lobster without saying a Hail Mary for it. "
" Every few years, I change my look for the simple reason that I get bored. If you Google Image me, you will see so many different looks: long hair, short hair, clean shaven, beard, etc. "
" Plain sugar cookies, no matter how well they are made, are a bit boring to me. "
" I am a sugar freak. "
" As chefs, especially pastry chefs, your creativity plays such an important part in your daily work. We truly do have a blank canvas to work with every time we create a new dish. "
" Daniel Boulud told me at a young age, 'Whatever happens to you in your career, you're going to be great - be humble. Just be humble.' And I think about that daily. Like, whatever happens to me, whatever awards we win as a team or whatever else, just be humble. "
" I fell in love with pastry because I felt I could be much more creative. It's precise, and you don't have to kill anything. "
" I dislike cloyingly sweet desserts - sweet is not a flavor - so I suggest dialing back the sweetness and focusing on what the dessert is about, whether it is a ripe fruit, chocolate, etc. "
" I have worked in kitchens since I was 15 years old and never had a break. "
" I'm very much half city and half country boy. "
" Everyone has a different impression of what they are eating; not everyone tastes the same things, and definitely, not everyone has the same food memories. "
" I actually have a pig collection in my cabin: all types of old wood hand-carved pigs that my mom started for me as a housewarming gift. "
" I am not a shock jock pastry chef. I don't create desserts using strange ingredients just for the sake of doing so, like so many of my colleagues in the industry. "
" I drink at least a couple of espressos every day and love the flavor of coffee. "
" The biggest fear in my life is being mediocre. "