Le Bernardin‘s Executive Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis will be joining OpenTable to report on the second season of Top Chef Just Desserts. He’s out of town for the premiere, but will be with us next week until the finale. Meanwhile, he shared his thoughts on last season and what’s to come.
“The second season of Top Chef: Just Desserts debuted last ight, and once again I’ll be reporting with an armchair perspective following each week’s episode. Before the action begins, perhaps we can quickly recap last season’s drama, as well as predict what we might see as the current season unfolds!
The inaugural group of pastry chefs ran a gauntlet of tough challenges, from wedding cakes to edible fashion pieces, ‘savory’ desserts to humble bakesale items. A few contestants saw highs and lows, but through it all, the very talented Yigit Pura emerged the victor. In the end, I think the series shed a rare spotlight on the inner workings of the sweet kitchen; I can’t wait to see more of the same this time around!
From what I’ve seen and heard of this season’s roster, the competition should just as fierce. I’m betting the bar will be raised, with a higher degree of difficulty; as was the case last season, I’m betting the challengers won’t have the luxury of working from written recipes. The judges, too, will be heavy hitters, and rank among the industry’s finest.
So, what should viewers at home look for? I’m predicting an increase on challenges involving elaborate showpieces of sugar and chocolate, where one wrong move can obliterate hours of hard work. We’ll likely see more ‘modernist’ techniques, too, wherein our chefs will try to create new textures, shifting the context of familiar flavor pairings. And of course, we’ll catch the latest trends — will we see the cupcake revisited this year? Or, perhaps, another contender to its throne of popularity?
For certain, we can all hope to get a closer look at both the intense creative processes and the ever-widening set of technical skills needed to take the top pastry chef prize!”
– Michael Laiskonis