Dessert at the end of a meal is good, but having dessert for every course of a meal is better. Luckily the Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show is right around the corner, featuring a pastry chef council that will not only show their signature desserts at the event, but will also host a dessert dinner at Storefront Company on October 14.
The meal will feature dishes prepared by the council's six members. To prevent sugar rush, the courses will be paired with wine and separated by savory bites.
Tickets to the dinner cost $50, but don't let the sweet stuff stop there. The Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show will take place at Navy Pier on October 19, with tickets going for $25. Proceeds benefit the show’s charity sponsor Icing Smiles, a nonprofit organization that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child.
In the meantime, meet this year's pastry chef council and the tasty treats they'll be creating for the dessert dinner.
Chef: Kym DeLost
Restaurant: Storefront Company
Dish: Foie gras mousse with caramelized chocolate, pain d'epices, vinegar and milk sherbet
Inspiration: "My inspiration is from a recent meal I had. I ordered foie gras and it actually made me crave something sweet. I like using savory elements in my desserts and with autumn being foie gras season it seemed like perfect time to use it."
Chef: Meg Galus
Dish: Gianduja cremeux, coconut-vanilla sorbet, concord grape gelee and basil
Inspiration: "Believe it or not, it started as a stream of consciousness from PB&J - peanuts changed to hazelnuts, and chocolate and hazelnut is pretty classic French. It just went from there!"
Chef: Patrick Fahy
Dish: Criollo dark chocolate with Banyuls and ice cold milk
Inspiration: "My inspiration is keeping it classic. I always had milk and cookies as a kid, so I want to keep the theme of milk and chocolate. However, I will use a few modern techniques. The particular techniques will have to be a surprise. Components to my dishes always have the following: Crunch, sweet, salt, acid and surprise!"
Chef: Thomas Raquel
Dish: French Apple: Calvados roasted apple, cinnamon custard, canelé ice cream and caramelized puff pastry
Inspiration: "My menu is always very seasonal so the dish represents the best of fall with a strong French influence."
Chef: Elissa Narow
Dish: Caramelia torte with Seckel pears, winter spices and La Colombe Panama coffee
Inspiration: "My inspiration stems from the coffee. I had tasted it a few weeks back and loved it, and I thought it would go well with dessert. It drinks like a black tea, light and fruity. I created dessert around that flavor profile."
Chef: Courtney Joseph
Dish: Pumpkin cake with maple semifreddo, smoked vanilla ice cream and caramelized white chocolate
Inspiration: "My inspiration is from going to my grandparents' in the fall. My grandma in the kitchen and the amazing smells from those visits."