Hopefully you’ve read my most recent spread in The Guide about desserts (if not, click here). I do so like talking about spreads and not be referring to my irreparable waistline.
Anyway, one of the pastry chefs I talked about was Joseph Jackson at Affäre, a downtown establishment whose reputation for fine cuisine continues to escalate. You can finish off your dinner with a blaze – literally. Chef Jackson has created a fiery way for you to enjoy a sweet concoction, but also ask questions as you learn a little bit about the science supporting interesting effects and tastes. Jackson, who worked at with American Restaurant’s Nick Wesemann (James Beard nominee for best pastry chef), says his interest in molecular gastronomy increased there – and his presentation really reflects this. So ask for the painted dessert and prepare to interact with artwork.
Here’s how it works: you choose which desserts you and your companion(s) want. Think apple strudel, a deconstructed German chocolate cake, a mousse , for instance. BTW, you need at least two people for this but they’ve served many more. A metal cart is wheeled out with all kinds of bowls, bottles, spoons, and various ingredients, and a flat glass plate is set before you. Your chosen desserts are placed appropriately. Then the fun begins as the plate is “garnished ” with all kinds of different and beautiful ingredients – from gelées to icings to fruit and ice cream. And then, voila! final secret ingredients are added, and the entire thing is set ablaze, sparks flying upward for an ending flourish. It is gorgeous! And totally delicious. An experience for sure.