CRAFT by Under My Host® Issue No. 18 Made in America: Part III - Page 94

W W W. C R A F T BY U M H . C O M One of my favorite bakeries in Seattle is William Leaman’s, Bakery Nouveau. From Napa to Paris with Minneapolis and Montreal in between, Leaman has honed his craft earning him the respect of his peers as well as a James Beard nomination. His creations are as beautiful as they are delicious. Leaman has joined us for a Q&A and has kindly shared his recipe for Choco- late Pudding Deluxe (little pudding cakes) for you to bake. I’m not going to lie, these are so good, I could have passed out from the decadence. Enjoy! raise your family and build your empire at the same time?” What is the trickiest pastry project you’ve ever tackled? Building our first bakery with very little money. When we started, we had lots of pennies, some pea- nuts, and a lot of big dreams! What are your three favorite cookbooks for baking and pastry at this moment? Au Pied du Couchon by Martin Picard. It’s more of a cookbook, but it holds many great ideas and hu- mor. What is the most fun you’ve ever had in the kitchen? Breaking Breads by Uri Scheft is a real staple of Jewish baking. I love building teams! Giving others a chance to improve their situation is the best! Chocolate: The Reference Standard by Georg Bernardini. This book is an encyclopedia of who’s who and who’s doing what which comes in handy when continuing to build on your dreams. What are your three favorite ingredients to work with and why? Chocolate, butter, and flour- these ingredients provide an abundance of possibilities. Fat crystals, fla- vor enhancing properties, and fermentation--all great things come through fermentation What was your biggest pastry disaster? I was working as a pastry chef at the Ozark Brewing Company in 1994. The executive chef had relocated to Fayetteville, AR to marry his dream girl. It was August, and I was in charge of their wedding cake. August in Arkansas is always HOT, to say the least. The bride and groom had invited 300 plus people to the wedding being held at an historic battleground site in Pea Ridge. I stayed up all night baking a car- rot cake. Carrot cake is big in the South, not to mention heavy as hell. I got the cake put together and placed it in the freezer for a couple of hours so the cake would be ready to travel 60 minutes in the car to the wedding. Ten minutes from the venue, a car pulled out in front of me, and I had to slam on the brakes. I heard a thud in the back seat, but I couldn’t bear to look back, so I just kept driving. I pulled up just as the wedding party arrived dressed in full Southern Army regalia. I promptly covered the pile of cake that was in the floorboard of the back seat of my Chevy Celebrity. Once the wedding party wandered off, it took me 30 minutes to put the cake back together using strategically placed flowers. Chef told me in the week following his honeymoon that the party was so lit on bourbon that they didn’t really notice the “incredible melting cake.” To this day, I’ve never said anything about using a shovel on the cake. What trends in pastry do you love? What trends do you hate? I love originality when it comes to bringing products to the table that inspire, i.e. Pate en Croute. I hate bakeries that only offer one item like cupcakes.   If you could sum up why you choose to work in pastry every day in one word, what would it be? Baking and pastry is a true “labyrinth” of possibilities! What piece of gear should every home baker have in their arsenal? Kitchen tongs and a wine key. What is one skill that every home baker should master? Braising--I know that’s not baking, but it’s better! Mmmmm…meat. What would you consider your specialty? The ability to adapt to any situation. If you could sit down to dessert with one person living or dead, who would it be? What would you eat? What would you ask them? I would sit down with Gaston Lenotre to eat Baba au Rhum. I would ask him, “How in the hell did you PHOTO CREDIT: Simone Faure © Hundred-to-One LLC 2018. All rights reserved.