Friday, May 29, 2015

You Sweet Thing, You III

The American Restaurant - Nick Wesemann


Although my mantra, or at least my desire, has always been eat dessert first, pastry chef Nick Wesemann at the American Restaurant has always known that the last thing that touches a diner’s lips could well be what s/he most readily remembers.  Dessert is the crowning touch, often creating a truly lasting impression. 





A semi-finalist for Best Pastry Chef (one of only 20 throughout the country) by the James Beard Awards this year, Wesemann has pointed out that such acknowledgment surprises and pleases him, especially because it adds recognition of the cuisine talent in the Midwest and his restaurant.  I’ve always wondered who actually selects these chefs, and it’s quite a process – this year, there were around 40,000 initial entries,  done in early fall.  The semifinalists, announced in February and finalists, announced in March, are voted on by over 600 people, mostly (I think) restaurant critics, magazine editors, food journalists, and cookbook writers across the country – experts but who have journalistic distance, i.e., no best buds among the competitors.
    
Chocolate Ganache


So others clearly recognize the American’s pastry chef’s expertise.  That is great!  But what I really like about Nick Wesemann’s desserts is how inventive they are.  They’re fabulously delicious of course – but so often with unusual flavors that most of us wouldn’t think of putting together.  Who would combine cucumber slush with a steamed honey cake and white pine gelato on the side? Or coconut, lime, pineapple (oh, yeah, piƱa colada) but with avocado as well?  All different textures from powdered essence to crunchy crackery wafers to suave sorbet underpin the flavors.  Always subtle flavor layers.  And they’re always beautiful.

Nick Wesemann




I didn’t used to think of pastry chefs as artists.  Now I do.  Thanks, Nick.

The American Restaurant
200 East 25th Street 
Kansas City, MO 64108 
Ph. 816-545-8000 

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