Corton in your kitchen

Last week was crazy and it seems like this week is no different.  I did have a great experience though, that I can’t wait to share.  Last Monday, I was at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) taking the “Signature Dishes from Corton” with Corton’s former pastry chef Shawn Gawle.  That right, former.  The class started off with Chef Gawle telling us that he had left Corton and was actually moving to the West Coast the following week, San Francisco specifically, to work for Saison.  Big bummer for New York City.  It was great to be able to catch him before he left us for the West Coast though, because he shared some amazing desserts and some helpful tips for recreating his renowned dishes at home.

As with most classes, each group was assigned a dish and we worked on that for the class.  At the end, we all came together and ate each others desserts and traded tips or issues we ran into with the recipes.

I was assigned to the Saffron Vanilla Fudge.  It’s composed of a vanilla sabayon, topped with an “oreo” cookie, saffron fudge and topped with apricot puree.  Although I was initially bummed that I got assigned to the fudge (I find fudge too sweet and don’t like it too much), at the end of the day, I was really happy I got the experience as it turned out to be more of a soft caramel recipe.  Very useful to know.  Unfortunately, it seemed like my assigned partner and I messed up every dish.  Chef was actually very nice and helped us through each difficulty.

We made a couple of desserts:

Saffron Vanilla Fudge
ICE: Signature Dishes from Corton Chef Shawn Gawle

Honey Basil Mousse
ICE: Signature Dishes from Corton Chef Shawn Gawle

Black Sesame Royale
ICE: Signature Dishes from Corton Chef Shawn Gawle

and also a platter of petit fours, such as Canele, Chocolate Bourbon Macaron and Passion Fruit marshmallows.