Yasmin Lozada-Hissom on what's ahead for Spuntino...and dessert in general

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The title of this week's review of Spuntinomay be "The Grill Next Door," but there's nothing common about co-owner Yasmin Lozada-Hissom's desserts. I caught up with the four-time James Beard Foundation semifinalist by e-mail, curious to see what the new season might mean both for Spuntino and for dessert trends in general. Here's a snippet of our exchange. See also:Will Spuntino turn into a true dining destination, or remain the grill next door? Westword: How much will desserts change with the fall menu?

Yasmin Lozada-Hissom: Aside from the salted caramel chocolate tart, all the rest of the menu will change to desserts that will feature fall ingredients such as apples, pears, cranberries and quince. Our gelato flavors will change as well.

What's next for dessert trends?

I've noticed that pastry chefs are looking to their own ethnic backgrounds for inspiration, creating desserts that feature ingredients familiar to their roots, many times along with local and seasonal products. I keep seeing the use of vegetables in desserts, as well as nostalgic and comforting desserts in updated reinterpretations.

What about the savory dessert trend. Where is that headed?

Although it's been a dessert culinary obsession in the past years, using ingredients usually associated with the savory pantry is really not a new practice, especially in other ethnic cuisines. In the case, for example, of salt in caramel, the influence came directly from France, particularly from Brittany, where salting caramel and baked goods is an ancient tradition.

In South America where I grew up, we always add salt to our dulce de leche (our own version of caramel), and my grandmother added a touch of salt and chile to her hot chocolate. In Asia, where desserts are preferred not too sweet, using savory ingredients such as red beans, taro root, sesame seeds and green tea is very common. I think that the savory-sweet combination is a very natural one and one that is part by now of our own cultural context, not a trend anymore. I love it when done with restraint, balance and harmony. How do you get your inspiration?

I believe our childhood is a tremendous source of inspiration for us pastry chefs. For me, desserts offer an element of nostalgia.... I grew up in Peru and in Venezuela, surrounded by great ingredients, unique and aromatic fruits that I always try to incorporate in my desserts. Brainstorming and traveling with my husband [chef and Spuntino co-owner John Broening] is always very stimulating and inspiring.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.