Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pastry Chefs Rising Stars of the Culinary World

SAN FRANCISCO — Not too long ago, the pastry chef was a bit of an afterthought.

Sure, there was tiramisu and molten lava chocolate cake. But, for the most part, kitchen celebrity was measured by thrills at the grill, not by teaspoonfuls of baking soda.

That's changed.

Artisan cupcakes are everywhere, Bravo TV's "Top Chef" is spinning off a show "Top Chef: Just Desserts," and TLC has "Cake Boss." Then there's Food Network's "Ace of Cakes," following the adventures of Duff Goldman as he and his crew whip up such concoctions as Viking ship wedding cakes, detailed right down to the breaking waves.

Pastry chefs are the rising stars of the culinary world.

"There's definitely a lot of interest," says Peter Reinhart, baking instructor at Johnson & Wales University and author of five books on bread baking, including "The Bread Bakers Apprentice." At Johnson & Wales, one of the nation's leading culinary schools, "we sell out our baking and pastry program faster than any other program, and that tells us a lot."

Dorie Greenspan, author of "Baking: From My Home to Yours," thinks blogging has helped shine a spotlight on sweets. There are cake bloggers, cookie bloggers, macaron bloggers. "There's just been a lot more news about what's going on in the sweet world."

Read the rest of the story here.

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