Did any of you watch Top Chef Just Desserts? If you did, then you'll know who Yigit Pura is. Not only that, you'll know just how incredible he is. There were, of course, so many talented pastry chefs on the show; but my friends and I were always Yigit fans from the very beginning. He was always so inventive with his flavors and he consistently created impeccable desserts not only in taste but in aesthetic value as well. Interestingly enough, Yigit also chose a culinary career path later on in the game. I'm pretty sure he was studying business management--sound familiar? I could go on, but suffice it to say it was no surprise that he won.
The reason I'm even writing about this is because this past weekend I was visiting my sister in Salt Lake City and she casually mentioned that "the winner of that Top Chef Just Desserts show [would be] presenting at the local home and garden festival." Well, I definitely could not pass up the opportunity to learn from the man himself! That night at the South Towne Expo Center Yigit gave a demonstration on sorbets and gourmet ice creams--strawberry sorbet, chocolate ganache ice cream, and salted caramel ice cream. Utterly delicious. I have to admit, I've never felt so entirely star-struck. After his demonstration, Yigit was taking pictures with fans so naturally, I joined the queue. There were so many things I wanted to say and ask; but instead, all that came out of me was:
Jonathan: "Uh, hi. Can I take a picture?"
Yigit: "Yes. What's your name?"
Jonathan: "Um, uh, (awkward pause), J . . . Jonathan."
Yigit: "Nice to meet you, I'm Yigit."
I don't know what was wrong with me. I really don't get nervous in these types of situations, but I suppose it's almost comical that I don't even remember what else I really said at that point. All I know is a bunch of gibberish came out of my mouth instead of all of the things I actually wanted to say and ask. What a shame, eh? Ha! You know, if I had a good hour with Yigit, this is what I would want to ask him and discuss:
"What is your source of inspiration in creating original desserts (taste, ingredient use and pairing, design)?"
"What do you do to keep "current" with new culinary techniques and methods, and how do you keep learning, in general?"
"If you had to pick one experience throughout your culinary career that helped you develop the most as a pastry chef which would it be, and why?"
"What is a day in the life of Yigit like?"
"How has your life changed since TCJD?"
"When is your new San Fransisco dessert store 'Tout Sweet' opening?"
Well, I may never get that chance; but at least I had the opportunity to attend the demonstration, learn, and snag a picture with a brilliant pastry chef. I did decided to make my own gourmet ice cream by using one of my mother's favorite ingredients--avocado. It really had nice flavor and a beautiful silky mouth feel. Above all, my mother loved it--especially the fact that I used the skins of the avocado as vessels to hold the ice cream (she's so practical). If you want the recipe, just email me. Cheers!
|Avocado Ice Cream|