Posts Tagged ‘pastry chef’

In the last couple years, my husband and I have seen so many fiction movies about chefs that now Netflix recommends any film related to food.

Not all films about chefs are equally good, though. High in our pantheon are Babette’s Feast, Today’s Special, and The Lunchbox. I’ll refrain from mentioning a couple recent ones that had too many Hollywood memes.

An article in the NY Times this week tells a real-life chef story that seems to imitate fiction. Jeff Gordinier interviews a pastry chef from the Bronx who has just landed a job at a restaurant in Copenhagen that some folks call the “best in the world.” The reporter, hoping to discover the source of chef Malcolm Livingston’s talent, travels with him to meet a great aunt.

“The person who had the answer, it turned out, was Aunt Alice. Aunt Alice is Alice Pulley, an 83-year-old deacon at Friendly Baptist Church and the sister of Mr. Livingston’s paternal grandmother. …

“Mr. Livingston nodded toward the kitchen as memories of poundcake and pecan pie poured forth. ‘This whole counter — she would have a little cake display,’ he said. When he was 5 or 6, he and his playground comrades became passionate advocates for Ms. Pulley’s baking. …

“Her signature dish, and the one that would wind up being pivotal in Mr. Livingston’s life, was a banana pudding filled with alternating layers of sliced bananas and Nilla wafers. She made the custard itself with eggs and milk, instead of relying on a powder from the supermarket, and she achieved the texture she wanted by way of flour, instead of cornstarch.

“ ‘I’m telling you, that banana pudding, really, it’s life-changing,’ Mr. Livingston said.” More here.

Photo: Katie Orlinsky for The New York Times
Malcolm Livingston II, recently hired to work in “the world’s best restaurant,” with his Aunt Alice Pulley, an inspiration.

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In today’s Boston Globe, Kelly Gifford wrote about a new effort to hop over the generation of adults who don’t cook and teach children how.

“Short single-file lines form beside a table with three hot plates at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Dorchester. …

“This is the first time the majority of the 10 girls have ever cooked an omelet — a fact that [Bill] Yosses, Sally Sampson, president and founder of ChopChop Magazine, and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation are hoping to change through a series of healthy eating classes at several New England Boys & Girls Clubs.

“The Dorchester program is part of the series, which is aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds. The weeklong program kicked off in Worcester in early July and will continue in six Boys & Girls Clubs in the Boston area and eight in New Hampshire this fall, to reach about 200 kids total. The program is funded through a $100,000 grant from the Harvard Pilgrim foundation.

“ ‘There is a whole generation of parents across the income and age spectrum that can’t cook, so they do takeout,’ says Harvard Pilgrim president Karen Voci. ‘So we decided to skip a generation and see if these kids could bring the skills they learned back home to their families.’ ”

The children seem to be enjoying trying new tastes and showing off what they can prepare. Read the whole article here.

Photo: Pat Greenhouse/Globe staff
Former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses (standing) helps teach children to make yogurt parfaits and other healthful dishes.

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