"Especially with patisseries, the pastry chef's work needs to have the wow factor, the product sells visually". If it's a pastry chef to say it, you must believe it: "25% of your palette is enhanced visually and we eat with our eyes. So many pastry chefs place pictures of their work on the internet, I do too, people like it and comment on how tasty it looks and how appealing the product actually looks yet it hasn't been eaten or smelt. They say "Sex sells": well, so do sexy looking desserts." Anna Polyviou is Australian and has worked in a number of great kitchens and trained with some of the world's best chefs and as part of the recent Itali-Anna event featured at recent Sydney's Crave International Food festival, the pastry chef created a dessert degustation dinner using S.Pellegrino waters and Sanpellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverages as ingredients.
Guests were treated to some amazing creations such as Nougat cheesecake sphere, Aranciata Rossa foam, yoghurt and olive oil gelato and FDL managed to sit down with the chef behind the creations and find out more about how she devised the recipes.
Tell us more about creating these desserts.
I looked at the different liquid elements in the recipes that I already had and tried to incorporate the sparkling waters using a jelly, sorbet, foam or even a sponge and mousse. It was hard at the start as it did alter the recipe and the texture of the product.
Was there any challenges in working with these ingredients?
Of course the mousse would split due to too much liquid or the flavor of the Sanpellegrino wouldn’t come through the sorbet due to the fruit over powering the ingredient. But after a team effort within my kitchen and seven talented pastry chefs we all worked together and adjusted the recipes.
Which dessert do you like the most and why?
Nougat cheesecake sphere, Aranciata Rossa foam yoghurt and olive oil gelato. Firstly it’s my favorite Sanpellegrino Sparkling Fruit Beverage, and it was high light of the evening. I used the Aranciata Rossa to make a Gel and at the same time a foam that was used to wash the dessert down. Used good quality olive oil within the sorbet and also made sure the chocolate work sphere was fine and sharp. The meringue tube was thin and crisp. The dessert was fresh, and most importantly that wow factor that people walked away talking about it from days on end. And it also re-introduced the sparkling water, which I’ve seen that the pastry chefs that attended that evening are either drinking and stocking it in their venue or using it in their desserts.
What was the best thing about working with the ingredients?
It was exciting. I had a taste tester, wrote the different fruit and ingredients and how I could use it and have it well balanced. I liked being able to introduce a different element to a dessert that throws in a fun funky dimension to an elegant classy product.
What plans do you have for the future?
In the future I’d like to go abroad or interstate and start doing dessert degustation dinners at different venues and allow myself to come to people rather than them having to come to Sydney. Eventually I’d like to write my own book, open my own fun exciting venue dessert bar. Get on television and just show case a different way of desserts with a little fun, cool looking, not the everyday norm.