Brooks Headley (pastry chef at Del Posto, former pastry chef at Komi, former drummer of Born Against and the Wrangler Brutes, and my former housemate) is headed to Osaka to participate in a dessert demonstration for the curiously-named Japanese pastry shop chain Gramercy, New York. Headley will join Alex Grunert of Blue Hill Farm and Robert Truitt of Corton, and the trio will demo signature dishes and lead Q & A sessions for classes of 20-30 dessert-crazed onlookers.
“People at this [event] are obsessed with desserts and pastry chefs from New York, like [we’re] rock stars,” says Headley, who hopes to score a recipe for an obscure Japanese spongecake by way of cultural exchange. “The way the Japanese approach desserts is completely insane, methodical and analytical…to be immersed in that for a week is going to be awesome.”
Japanese or not, dessert fetishists should take a gander at Headley’s sfera di caprino with celery and fig agrodolce and celery sorbetto:
“It’s a dessert for people who say they don’t want dessert,” says Headley. The caprino (goat cheese) is rolled in to balls, coated with salted breadcrumbs and served with celery sorbet and a shaved celery garnish. The fig makes for a sweet-and-sour experience. “I refuse to take it off the [Del Posto] menu even though it doesn’t sell that much,” Headley adds. “Like if you’re in a band that likes one song that gets no response from the crowd, but you play it anyway.”
If any punk rockers are still reading this, check out Headley and Mick Barr’s (ex-Crom Tech, ex-Orthrelm) project Oldest.