Around the Kitchen in 3 Questions: Pastry Chef Joseph Gabriel

Around the Kitchen in 3 Questions: Pastry Chef Joseph Gabriel

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We caught up with pastry chef Joseph Gabriel to learn more about how his travels have influenced his work

One of Chef Gabriel's creations: a tropical fruit vacherin composed of passion fruit, mango kaffir lime leaf sorbet, and pink peppercorns

The Daily Meal caught up with chef Joseph Gabriel to learn about how his travels have influenced his work. Gabriel is the pastry chef at Oceana Restaurant in New York, which has maintained a Michelin star rating since 2006. He has been at the restaurant since 2012 and is known for creating classic desserts with modern twists. He is committed to using seasonal ingredients and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, where he was the recipient of the Chef LeBorgne Scholarship.

The Daily Meal: What has been your most inspirational food experience while traveling?
Joseph Gabriel: I was recently invited by Michel Cluizel Chocolate to go to the Los Ancones cocoa plantation in the Dominican Republic. We walked through the plantations during harvest season and picked pods off the trees, ate the raw cocoa fruit, and learned everything from cultivation to fermentation, drying to production, and planting to pollination. We even planted trees. After all of this, we had to make a dessert using the finished Los Ancones chocolate and using flavors of the origin. We used fresh picked mangos, passion fruit, sapote, and cherries. The flavor of these fruits were superlative — they tasted so alive.

TDM: What’s your favorite kitchen souvenir from your travels?
JG: In Paris, I went into the famed kitchen store E. DEHILLERIN and found two small tamis that I thought were perfect for my production needs. I use them almost every day!

TDM: If you could eat your way through one country, which one would it be and why?
JG: China. There is so much flavor and historical value in Chinese cuisine. I would love to go to the smaller provinces and eat their local food as well as the larger cities to see how they define their own cuisine.

10 Habits of Professional Pastry Chefs

Are you thinking about stepping up your baking game, but don’t know where to start? Kristin from Bake Like A Champ is here today to share secrets from professional pastry chefs that we can start using at home.

Please welcome Kristin from Bake Like A Champ as she shares 10 Habits of Professional Pastry Chefs straight from culinary school. You might be surprised by #5! Be sure to show her blog some love for me. -Tessa

Imagine your friends and family bowing down to you at every gathering because your chocolate chunk cookies with sea salt are like nothing they’ve ever had. Breaking news! You don’t actually need to be a professional to impress others with your baking.

You have access to thousands of well-tested recipes here on Handle The Heat, and today I’m sharing the best tricks I learned while studying alongside veteran pastry chefs at the Culinary Institute of America. Combining the tips below with Tessa’s recipes will leave your friends thinking you went to pastry school overnight.


Professionals call this mise en place, which in French means “putting in place.” Get all of your ingredients measured and organized before you start tackling the directions. There’s a reason why this is one of the first things that culinary schools teach. It’s a major time-saver.


One of the great chefs and restaurateurs of our time, Thomas Keller, published a cookbook, Bouchon Bakery, which is a collection of recipes and stories from the successful bakery and in it he wrote, “We use lots and lots of parchment paper. We line any sheet pan we use with parchment or a Silpat. It’s about both working clean and not allowing what we are baking or have baked to come in direct contact with the metal.” Buy pre-cut sheets or a roll for just a few bucks. Not only will using parchment paper improve the quality of your baked goods, you can also get away without washing your cookie sheets.


If you watch professional pastry chefs, they scrape every last bit of batter into a pan. And it’s not just because their spatula game is on point. If you’re making a cake and you don’t use the suggested volume of batter, you’ll likely achieve a different result than the recipe suggests. You also don’t need to throw away scraps, such as pie crust. Just brush the scraps with a little egg wash, dust with cinnamon sugar, and bake for 10 minutes. Same goes with vanilla beans. If you’ve scraped the inside of a bean, you’re still left with some value. Place your bean(s) in a jar of sugar, and in a few weeks you’ll have vanilla sugar, which is great for baking or your morning coffee. Vanilla sugar also makes for a great hostess gift.


You are more likely to bake if you can make it easier on yourself. Two pieces of equipment will change your life. A stand mixer and a digital scale. The stand mixer enables you to crank out baked goods faster and easier than ever before. The machine does all the work for you, not to mention the texture of all of your baked goods improves. A digital scale is probably the least expensive piece of equipment that can improve your baking tenfold. It’s faster, easier, and cleaner than using measuring cups and spoons, plus it provides 100% accuracy. You can incorrectly measure flour by 150% if you’re using a measuring cup. For $12, you can conquer just about any recipe out there.


This is one of my secrets to brainstorming new desserts to make at home. It’s a great way to pick up the latest trends. If you really like something you tasted at a restaurant, just ask your server for an explanation of the ingredients. Most of the time, I can convince them to actually give me the recipe.


This is one of the best things you can keep in your pantry. Vanilla bean paste is in between vanilla extract and vanilla beans. If you’ve ever bought vanilla beans, you know they’re not cheap. You also know that they provide better flavor and aroma than the extract and give your baked goods a more professional look with the signature black specks. The paste is a perfect blend of the two because it’s much less expensive than the beans themselves. Vanilla bean paste is essentially a small jar of the scraped-out vanilla pod. The jar indicates measurement conversions, but it’s usually 1:1 to vanilla extract.


If cookies are too crunchy, break them into pieces and fold into ice cream. If a cake is too undercooked or it doesn’t come out of the pan perfectly, crumble it into chunks and layer it in a trifle with sweetened whipped cream.


Most pastry dough recipes ask that you roll it out to a certain thickness. Make it easy on yourself and keep a ruler handy. The difference between ¼ and ½ inch is more important than you think!


They lose their efficacy over time. They’re inexpensive, so just follow the expiration dates. Learn how to test for freshness here.


Cakes are much easier to work with when frozen. Lifting layers, stacking them, leveling them with a serrated knife, frosting… so many reasons to go frozen! Virtually all bakeries do the same thing because it’s a real time-saver. The pros use a flash-freezing approach, and you can do the same thing at home. After I bake a cake and let it cool, I put a single layer in the freezer on a parchment paper-lined tray or plate. Just make sure it isn’t touching anything except the paper. Then freeze until it’s solid, which usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour. Once it’s frozen, you can use it right away (just frost the cake and let it thaw before you’re going to eat it), or wrap it tightly in a few layers of plastic wrap until you need it again. If you’re interested in learning how to make other types of baked goods in advance – think scones, cookies, biscuits, pie crust – I’m sharing my 3-Step Guide to Baking in Advance with Handle The Heat readers. You can download my free guide here .

About Kristin.

Kristin Beischel is the author of Bake Like A Champ, where she helps people discover a game-changing approach to baking from scratch that actually fits into their busy lives. Download her 3-Step Guide to Freezer Baking, free for Handle The Heat readers, so you can start impressing your friends and family today.

Oil In Vegetable-Based Cake Recipes

Hi all!!
I work at an amazing little New Zealand Style ice cream shop in the beautiful Denver Colorado. I was hoping to get a little help on the subject of adding fruit into ice cream after extracting it and ensuring that, when the ice cream is frozen, the fruity bits don't turn into rock hard shards. I am planning on doing a cherry chocolate ice cream and I was going to soak some dried cherries that we're no longer using for something else. I was planning on using some brandy and a ton of sugar, but I was really hoping someone had a tried and true method they could send my way so that I KNOW that the fruit will be luscious as it's frozen. If you have a certain sugar ratio. I know there is the brix test, but to be honest it's been many years since pastry school and I am very rusty. Would love to hear from some of my fellow sugar-heads.
Thank you!

Hi guys! I got excited to post something as this is my first one.
So, the top 3 desserts I like to eat when I was still in Philippines were Halu-halo (literally means mix-mix in english), brazo de mercedes and chocolate crinkles.

1. HALU-HALO is one of the popular food during summer. This is basically:
shaved ice with evaporated milk,
and the following:
- nata de coco (coconut cream based on a google search, these are cube-like jellies),
- sweetened red beans,
- sweetened bananas,
- cooked sago or tapioca,
- ube or purple yam,
- leche flan (this is also one of the best desserts to eat),
- macapuno (made of coconut),
- sweetend jackfruit,
- sweetened kamote (this is similar to sweet potato but caramelized),
- sweetened kaong (sugar palm fruit)
- and topped with a scoop of ice cream.
These fruits are usually bought in jars (found mostly in Asian grocery stores). You basically put the fruits at the bottom, add sugar (if you want because almost all the fruits are sweetened so it's already sweet), then you fill the cup/bowl with shaved ice and add milk. And most importantly, mix it well before you eat because you don't want to eat shaved ice with milk only and then eat the really sweet fruits last.

Yah, I think the name is Spanish? I tried making this but I just failed. It's kinda hard to do and takes a lot of patience but it's really worth it. This is my favourite cake! In Philippines, most bakeries sell this but my favourite is from Goldiluck's which is located in shopping malls.
Brazo de Mercedes recipe

These are my favourite chocolate cookies! I think this one isn't really from Philippines but they are really popular. I was kinda shocked when I came here in Canada, because they don't sell these cookies in the bakeries I've been to so I tried baking these on my own. Since my post is getting long, I'll put the recipe as a link at the bottom.
http://sweb2.dmit.na. rinkles-recipe/
I hope you enjoyed my post! Happy eating and baking everyone!

Hoping for some help. I accidentally melted an old mould that is very important to us and I've had no luck searching around for a replacement.
If anyone knows where I could buy one - or even has one to spare they would be willing to sell - please send me a message.
The mould (label attached below) was originally labelled as "Easy as ABC gelatin mould", although we just call it the alphabet mould. Yes there are lots of alphabet moulds around, including new silicone ones, but we need the specific designs on this one to replace the one I damaged. Depending on the cost, I would consider paying for postage internationally (to Australia).
Thanks in advance!

The ultimate tasty, fuss-free chicken pie: it&rsquos a guaranteed crowd pleaser

As a pastry chef, I’m surrounded by sugar and chocolate, so when I get home I love nothing more than venturing to the dark side, aka savoury.

My style of home cooking is very similar to my baking - simple, honest, tasty, fuss-free food. As much fun as it is to experiment with dishes, sometimes people can over complicate things. Simplicity is best.

I have made this dish so many times, I’ve lost count. The reason I love it so much is the fact it can be on the dinner table reasonably quickly and it is really tasty. I also love the versatility of the dish and how you can use up whatever vegetables and greens you have at home.

I think now, more than ever, people are cooking a lot more at home and are delving deep into their cupboards and freezer to see what they have. This dish is a perfect way to use up those odd bits and bobs.

If you don’t have creme fraiche, you can use cream or just straight up chicken stock. Support your local producers and markets by loading this pie up with your favourite fresh greens. I absolutely adore the simplicity and versatility of this one pie wonder. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser.



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Calogero Romano

Born in Oberhausen, Germany, to Italian immigrants from Sicily, Chef Calogero Romano had a “pretty sweet” up bringing, from experiencing “Kaffee and Kuchen” on Sunday afternoons in Germany to yearly family vacations alongside Sicily’s beaches in the province of Agrigento and eating granitas and gelatos in some of the most historic towns and Piazza’s in Sicily.

At the age of 13, Calogero’s family ventures brought him to New York City where he continued his education in
the American school system. While working after school in the local food industry, young Calogero now
nicknamed “Charlie”, developed a curiosity and passion for food. This led him to enroll at the Culinary Institute
of America, where he earned an Associate Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts with honors. While attending the CIA, Chef Romano did an externship at The Ritz Carlton Hotel Amelia Island, FL under the guidance of Chef James Mullaney. Working under Chef Mullaney, Charlie was heavily inspired by his mentors skill, style, work ethic, and great passion for the baking and pastry arts. He realized that he wanted to pursue the art of baking and pastry in a much larger capacity that offered a wide variety of products and services amongst the elites and most discerning clientele for a higher level of dining.

Chef Romano’s background and experience includes working at Payard Patisserie & Bistro in New York City as Chef de Partie under renowned Chef Francois Payard Opening team member of the Ritz Carlton Hotel Central Park South in NYC under Jean Francois Bonnet Opening team member of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC under Chef Christophe Toury. In 2012, Chef Romano was also appointed by former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton to the U.S. State Department of American Chef Corps, which is comprised of a group of over 80 chefs as a part of the State Department’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership. He has also appeared on the Judging Panel on Food Networks “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”. For 10 years, Chef Romano led the pastry program as the Executive Pastry Chef at the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. A 1400 room city cen ter landmark luxury hotel with 3 restaurants and 60,000 square feet of banquet facilities. Chef Romano success fully executed numerous large and prestigious events in cluding: United Nations General Assembly US Depart ment of State and Presidential visits numerous visits of foreign heads of State Peacock Alley Brunch - - voted 10 Best by Open Table and created pastry offerings for La Chine Restaurant - which received critical acclaim from many of the country’s top critics including NY Times, Bloomberg, Forbes and more.

Today, Charlie is one of 5 Corporate Pastry Chef Tech nicians at Paris Gourmet. His responsibilities include: research and development of ingredients, adapting ingre dients to the market, customer/chef training and exten sive recipe development. He has the experience and versatility to help customers of Paris Gourmet master technique in all aspects of pastry, including chocolate & sugar work, confections, gelato & frozen desserts, various types of doughs, plated desserts and entremets.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

Pastry chefs are required to meet tight deadlines every day! It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it! Give an example of an achievement that shows you take initiative to accomplish your goals.

"Even though I am passionate about baking, I knew that culinary school would be a challenge. In order to achieve my goal of becoming a pastry chef, I gave myself a time frame for school and was realistic about how I would be able to complete the training while working full time. I set a deadline for when I wanted to complete my certification and I worked hard at my internship to learn as much as I could!"

Living Light Graduate Shining His Light: Felix Schoener

Originally from Bremen, Germany, Living Light Graduate Chef Felix Schoener has had an illustrious career working at several prestigious restaurants and earning many awards along the way. His grandfather was a great pastry chef and taught young Felix that love was shown and expressed through food. He explains, “You could taste the love in every meal my grandfather prepared for me. Everything he cooked was so tasty and nourishing.”

Chef Felix has built upon this idea and the mantra, “Let the soul of produce shine” has become the cornerstone of his philosophy in the kitchen. Experimenting with his own healing path has led him to marry his love of raw living foods with the ancient tenets of Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine. He has helped take raw living cuisine to the next level by combining holistic lifestyle philosophies with culinary arts.

“I told my mother I wanted to become a cook when I was seven-years-old,” he says. “She was a vegetarian for almost 30 years and always cooked healthy and simple vegetarian meals. We had a big house with a huge garden, where we grew our own vegetables, fruit, herbs, and nuts. My mom gave me a whole foods cookbook for kids and I cooked from that book for my family a lot. My family had their favorites, which they asked me to cook again and again. I remember that I celebrated every meal and enjoyed cooking it with love and attention.”

However, years later while working in Germany at a leading three-starred Michelin restaurant, he started questioning what he was doing for the first time. “We worked so hard, under full pressure and high stress for 16 hours a day,” he explains. “The environment was so competitive, the atmosphere quite toxic, with a lot of ego in the kitchen. We created amazing food but in a very unhealthy environment. After one-and-a-half years as Chef de Partie, I felt burned out.”

He became a vegetarian and took time off to sign up for Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) on several farms around Europe, including a raw food permaculture community in the south of Spain. After a month of eating raw, he had more energy and more mental clarity than ever before. He says, “I learned a lot about this natural way of eating and the natural cycle of food (planting, watering, harvesting, preparing, eating, energy, elimination, compost). Everything I ever heard and learned about our western lifestyle and food was questioned.”

His next job was at an organic bio-hotel and restaurant in Switzerland. He was given total creative freedom so he started experimenting with raw dishes before apprenticing at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. This was his first step specializing and working exclusively with raw vegan cuisine.

Mostly he was inspired by some of the world’s top chefs focusing on wild herbs, organic seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. There were only a handful of chefs with a professional background preparing raw, living foods at the time. Cherie Soria, the mother of gourmet raw cuisine opened Living Light Culinary Institute where he received further training.

“In my travels, I find more and more people are looking for healthier, sustainable options, and natural alternatives. I still follow a diet that is about 80 percent raw and living foods because I experience much more energy and much more mental clarity. When I eat a high-raw diet based on fresh fruit, vegetables, greens and wild herbs, seaweeds, superfoods and some simple healthy cooked foods like pseudo-grains (amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat) I feel great in my body, my skin clears up quickly, my hair is better, my mind is more balanced and calm, I sleep better and I wake up feeling fresher and ready to go.”

“In my experience, this diet is good for people who have a lot of stress and pressure, and for those who are ill and want to get better quickly. You’re getting nutrients without overloading the digestive system,” he says. “It’s pure fuel. It’s a high nutrient-dense diet with low-calorie content.”

Thank you, Chef Felix, for your bright soul and helping fuel the plant-based movement around the world.

Learn more about how you can join our family and make a difference in your community, here.

Erika Chan, executive pastry chef of The Publican, Publican Quality Meats, and Café Cancale, Chicago

“I love to experiment with all kinds of honey, as long as they're natural and locally sourced. I fell in love with watermelon honey when I went to Bread Camp with Greg Wade (head baker at Publican Quality Bread) last summer. It’s made by bees that pollinate solely on watermelon blossoms, and to me it tastes like Swedish Fish candy! I got it from a local farm in the Midwest, but I’ve seen all kinds of different honey varieties at our local farmers' market. For baking, I tend to prefer darker honey I find the flavor comes through better in baked goods. I’ll even reduce it to intensify the honey notes.”

Be the Best!

Good things come to those who wait.

You’ll need to be an experienced cook before you start teaching cooking tutorials. That said, you don’t need to be a Michelin Star chef or even have a degree from a cooking school.

With proper planning, good tutorials are a piece of cake! (Source: Daria-Yakovleva)

In fact, you don’t actually need any qualifications to start teaching private cooking tutorials. On the other hand, you will need experience. You wouldn’t consider teaching people how to drive if you didn’t know how to start a car, would you? The same goes for cooking.

Are you often told that your cooking is great?

Do you often impress your friends and family with the meals you make for them?

There’s more to it than just knowing how to cook, though! You need to be able to transfer all of that expert knowledge of the culinary arts to your friends, whether they’re absolute beginners or decent cooks.

Before you start teaching, make sure that you practise regularly to ensure that all your skills are sharp.

You’ll need to have a lot of tips up your sleeves and be able to teach your students complex cooking techniques. Simply following a recipe won’t be enough, you’ll need to be familiar with all the fundamental techniques involved including knife skills, chopping, different levels of “doneness”, which vegetables are in season, and how to prepare menus from scratch.

You can get this practice by cooking for families and friends. You could provide a free demonstration to them as if you were a teacher in your own cooking school. Their feedback will be useful when it comes to refining both your cooking techniques and your teaching techniques.

Find out more about the cooking tutorials available around the UK.

Want to be a pastry chef?

With the rise of pastry shows and baking in popular culture, it's understandable that a lot of people are now looking to become the next World famous pastry chef. To achieve this goal, you need to start from the bottom and work extremely hard at the craft. Start off in a local kitchen and become an apprentice to better your knowledge and gain as much experience as possible.

If you have an ambition to become a chef, you need to look the part while also wearing the correct items needed in a fast paced kitchen. Young chefs know they need the proper outfit, but they sometimes fail to identify the need for correct footwear.

Working as a chef means long hours and a lot of hazards in the kitchen. This means you need shoes that are both comfortable and slip-resistant. We specialize in slip-resistant, water-resistant and oil-resistant shoes for all aspects of kitchen work. Visit our shop to see our latest styles in chef’s shoes:

The reason why you should wear work shoes for work.

We tested a pair of high street shoes against one of our popular slip resistant styles, see the difference between them.