ELV note: The following article appears in today’s Grub Street, and can be accessed in its original form by clicking here. Or you can scroll down to read it and continue to the slideshow on the Grub Street site. Congrats to Comme Ça, Crystal Whitford (Spago) and Theresa Gwizdaloski (RM Seafood) for their recognition. (Their desserts are numbers 55-57 of the slide show.)
Crystal Whitford’s Amaretto Eskimo Pie at Spago
It’s time to think seriously about sweets: When Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and the doldrums of winter (even one this mild) have taken hold, there’s something about dessert that speaks to everyone. And these days, more than ever, pastry is getting the due that it deserves: Food & Wine is launching a search for the country’s best new pastry chef; Top Chef keeps churning out seasons of its pastry-only spinoff; Johnny Iuzzini and Michael Laiskonis were rightfully heralded as stars when they recently departed their respective restaurants; and every other show on TV is about cake wars. We won’t call it a sugar renaissance, because dessert never went away, but pastry is undeniably playing a larger part in the culinary conversation than it ever has before.