Reader: Pastries Without Flour, Dairy, Nuts? Why Not Eat Cardboard?
Michael Conti's dark-chocolate Valrhona cake.
When the team behind Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn hired pastry chef Michael Conti to preside over the dessert and pastry program at both of those restaurants, as well as Brider, which opened in December, then-restaurant critic Gretchen Kurtz applauded. Although she liked both Oak and Acorn, she'd found their desserts underwhelming, as she writes in her intro to this week's Chef and Tell interview with Michael Conti. But one reader found Conti's comments hard to swallow. Writes David:
Hmm — "I am gluten-, soy-, lactose-, alcohol- and tree-nut free." And he's a pastry chef?? Certainly not someone whose creations would hold much interest for me. He's just eliminated 90% of the ingredients I'm interested in in pastry. Seriously, how can you call yourself a pastry chef and not use flour, dairy and nuts (plus a little booze like Grand Marnier, cognac, rum, etc.)? Might as well eat cardboard.
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