Episode 5 of Top Chef Just Desserts season 2 tapped into two important childhood experiences — the candy bar and the water park. Le Bernardin‘s Executive Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis talks about both with us this week.
Pichet Ong! He’s all kinds of amazing. I am so curious to see his reactions to what he’s served. Can you talk about Ong’s reputation and his desserts?
I first met Pichet some 10 years ago as he rose to prominence as pastry chef of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Asian concepts Spice Market and 66. In a way, he was a perfect judge for this challenge — he has a certain knack for updating and elevating simple classics and street-food desserts. He doesn’t flaunt it, but the guy’s a walking pastry encyclopedia; he seems to know every pastry chef on the planet!
What is your favorite old-school, when-you-were-a-kid, classic candy bar? And, would it still appeal to you today?
As a pastry chef, there’s always been something about a Snicker’s bar that appeals to me — the flavors and the textures are perfect. And, whoever came up the twist of the Twix — a cookie and a candy bar in one — that’s a cool idea. And, give me nougat in any form, I’m a happy guy.