View Full Version : Pastry chef experience
06-01-2009, 02:21 AM
I'm a pastry cook at Gramercy Tavern in NYC, studied Classic Pastry Arts at The French Culinary Institute in SoHo. I'm hoping to get to WDW for my birthday in September. I'm looking for Disney restaurants that have amazing desserts!!!! I've been a million times (former College Program Cast Member), but i've never thought about what places have really innovative desserts.
Also, I'm wondering if there's an in-house pastry chef for each fine dining restaurant or if there's just one (or a few) that oversees everything.
Thanks for any information you have!!!! pirate:
06-01-2009, 07:41 AM
1) Some (like GF and BWI) have their own pastry chefs.
2) Most do not, although there are line cooks that handle desserts.
3) Most desserts at WDW are pre-packaged.
I don't know how innovative you'd consider Boma's zebra domes, but they're yummy. You might be interested in the culinary tour of Boma and Jiko at 4 pm every day.
The pastry chef at the Dolphin/Swan was on the American team and has wonderful credentials I believe. Their website has a page on him I recall reading.
06-01-2009, 11:01 AM
There is nothing at WDW (short of Victoria and Albert's) that is even close to being on par with Gramercy. Gramercy Tavern is one of my favorite restaurants. Congrats on working at one of NYC's top dining destinations. I used to eat in the Tavern at least a couple times a year when I lived near NYC. The main dining room is usually a heftier undertaking. Having eaten at nearly all of WDW's "signature" restaurants numerous times, I think that you'll probably be quite dissapointed. Sorry to be the bearer of bads news. You should have a great time none the less!
06-02-2009, 01:23 AM
thanks for your input! i realize not much is quite on par with gramercy tavern, but i was just hoping to find something awesome and new. :)
06-02-2009, 07:21 AM
:thanks for your input! i realize not much is quite on par with gramercy tavern, but i was just hoping to find something awesome and new.
1) WDW is a mass-deliverer of food.
2) They have few unique items any more.
3) Especially with desserts included with DDP.
4) People want to graze, and not demand fine dining.
5) So, most of the desserts are now farmed-out to vendors.
6) As a pastry chef, you know expensive hand-made desserts can be.
06-02-2009, 09:09 AM
Agreed, it will be difficult to find delicious desserts there. Several years ago, you could get a good variety of desserts, but now, it feels so much more "commercial." I think all of the chocolate cake products taste exactly the same. You may have some luck in Epcot World Showcase with getting a variety of non-traditional dessert items.
06-03-2009, 01:29 AM
yeah will totally hit up the world showcase!
i used to work in disney in quick service food and beverage so i know how prepackaged the desserts are!:rotfl:
06-03-2009, 05:00 PM
We love Gramercy Tavern. A friend and I have lunch in the Tavern so often we've taken to calling in "The Cafeteria" jokingly, of course! I might add, we love to get the cookie plate -- and the absolute best ones are the peanut butter cookies with the chocolate disk. Yum!
Congratulations on having such a great position in a wonderful NY restaurant that has become an institution.
As for desserts at WDW, that is a tough one. I have to agree, unfortunately, with the posters who note that the days of in-house pastry chefs doing creative things are pretty much gone.
The Brown Derby used to have a wonderful grapefruit cake that we simply couldn't resist. It was based on the original sold at the restaurant years ago. If you asked, they'd bring you the recipe printed on a Derby-shaped card. Lots of fun. The last time we had it, however, we were totally disappointed. It tasted completely mass produced and we were told it's now sourced from a third party vendor and kept frozen until served. Yuck! Yuck! and more Yuck!
Also, there used to be an amazing tiramisu served in a plastic cup at the Italy pavilion at Epcot. But, it's no longer available. I guess when Disney evicted Alfredo's of Roma, the amazing tiramisu recipe went with the restaurant. Dh and I used to laugh that the best tiramisu on property came in a plastic cup!
Beyond that, the desserts have become pretty much run of the mill.
There are still a few oases in the dessert desert, however:
Artist Point has a lovely berry cobbler that we love.
California Grill seems to have, if not terribly original desserts, ones that are a real pleasure and are often beautifully plated. CG also has what we think is one of the best cheese courses at WDW.
Jiko often has some rather interesting desserts with unique twists.
Wolfgang Puck Express at DownTown Disney serves what I consider to be the best creme brulee on WDW property. It comes in a tin foil dish and, unfortunately, isn't straight from the flame that melts the sugar. Even with those drawbacks, it's still the best -- and I've tried all the creme brulee's on property at one time or another.
Beyond that, there is a great in-house pastry chef at Victoria and Albert's who does some lovely desserts, although I think they could use a bit more creativity and a dessert menu change now and then. They've been serving the Tanzanian chocolate pyramid for at least 7 years now. Having said that, the Kona Chocolate Souffle served with Godiva Chocolate Sauce never disappoints. Same with the Grand Marnier souffle.
Given your background, you really should consider having a meal at V&A (even the Chef's Table if you can get it).
V&A is really the only restaurant at WDW that is in the same league as GT, though we think CG and Jiko are excellent, too. We haven't tried BlueZoo, but hear it is very good. We also really enjoyed Bice at the Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal.
Hope you enjoy your vacation!
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