Desserts have been getting their due lately, with more specialty sweet shops, more attention to dessert menus and more pastry chefs in the spotlight for their craft.
Still, sometimes after a decadent dinner the dessert course ends up getting short shrift. Don’t think the pastry chefs aren’t watching.
“You can understand after a five-course meal when someone takes just a bite of dessert, but it does give you a little bit of sadness knowing how much you put into it,” said Jeremy Fogg, pastry chef at Emeril’s Restaurant.
But what if dessert was the whole point of a special meal? That will be the case at a pair of unique pop-up dessert tastings that Fogg is co-hosting with Justin Burke-Samson, a Boston-based pastry chef who tours the country with one-time, pop-up dessert concepts following different themes.
His latest edition begins its tour in New Orleans on Tuesday, Sept. 8. It’s called Modern Gramma, and the idea is to treat the warm memories of homespun desserts to the precision and presentation for which modern pastry chefs are known.
“The only guideline is taking family recipes, the stuff you grew up with, our grandmother’s desserts and our childhood favorites, and redefining them as a fine dining experience,” said Burke-Samson. “It’s about having fun, melding stuff we had as kids into an adult dessert.”
It’s a four-course dessert tasting, with optional wine pairings, held in a venue that sounds fun, too: The rooftop patio of the National Rice Mill Lofts (522 Montegut St.), a Bywater apartment building overlooking the river (and home to the Italian restaurant, Mariza).
They’ll be joined by Amy Lemon, pastry chef for Emeril’s Delmonico and NOLA, and Eric Perelli, pastry chef for Brennan’s Restaurant, along with Lick Our Pops, a local producer of “boozy ice pops.” Tickets are $65 (or $85 with pairings) and the party is from 7-9:30 p.m. For tickets and details, see moderngrammanola.eventbrite.com.
The following Friday, Sept. 11, Burke-Samson and Fogg will together host a second pop-up, this time at a location yet to be disclosed, where they’ll serve desserts beginning at 8:30 p.m. The chefs will give details on that event at their first pop-up and through social media, via @justinbsamson on Instagram and Twitter.
Follow Ian McNulty on Twitter @IanMcNultyNOLA.