Our best pastry chefs launch a monthlong sugar trail
In the sports arena, last place is a negative result.
Not so on the table, where last place is reserved for the sweetest dishes. So to kick off our February Monthly Edition, we've taken inspiration from pastry chefs, those beloved meal-ending masters.
To celebrate these underrated sugar slingers, we have anointed the Best Pastry Chefs 2012 (click here to see the photo essay). The rules: Each of the winning pastry chefs must have taken on a new project in the past year. Viewed as a whole, Best Pastry Chefs 2012 is an exciting snapshot of the next wave of dessert.
We culled the chefs' best recipes, from the country's tastiest tarte Tatin (truly) to a vegan and dairy-free peanut-butter cup that might be better than the original version. Some of the recipes require extra effort, but they are well worth the trouble. (We know because we tested all of them.)
In the process of focusing on pastry, we began to think of sugar outside its dessert context. As a result, we'll continue to examine the many uses of this ingredient--from a sweet-savory itinerary through one of our favorite food cities to a doughnut manhunt for the ages to a primer on that swashbuckling spirit, rum. To read all about these adventures, check back in throughout the month.
Here's to putting last things first.