Dessert Project #4 Menu

Sunday, May 27th, 2012



 shrimp and corn

 Vouvray Pétillan Brut, Domaine Huet, 2007, Loire Valley


soft shell crab • fava • green curry

 Grüner Veltliner Smaragd, Alzinger, Loibner Mühlpoint, 2009, Wachau


duck huarache • morel mole • pea

 Beaujolais Villages [Gamay], Damien Coquelet, 2010, Beaujolais


 banana tart tatin • morel ice cream • rhubarb • pea

 Savannah Verdelho, Rare Wine Company & Vinhos Barbeito, NV, Madeira


green strawberry • green almond • crispy tarragon mousse

 Bigarò [Brachetto & Moscato], Elio Perrone, NV, Piedmont


smoked chocolate • beets • spring blossoms

 Tawny, Quinta do Infantado, NV, Porto


Savory courses featuring:

 Chef Steven Cak of Parkside, Backspace, Olive & June

Chef Philip Speer of Uchi Restaurants

Chef Plinio Sandalio of The Carillon

 Dessert courses featuring:

 Chef Jodie Elliot of Foreign & Domestic

Chef Callie Speer of Swift’s Attic

Chef Janina Amezcua of Trace


Dessert Project #3 @CarillonAustin by @MisoHungry

What happens when you put some of the hottests pastry chefs in the same kitchen?  You get a decent fill of deliciousness.  A big thank you to Chefs Plinio Sandalio of Carillon, Philly Speer of Uchiko, and Steve Cak from Parkside for inviting me to the Dessert Project Experience, where pastry chefs do dinner. 

The first dish up was an amuse bouche made up of a trio of cauliflower.  From a puree to bright shades, it was as amusing to the eyes it was to the palate. 

Why yes, I did run around to the back to watch the plating. 

The plate reminded me of Mardi Gras.  Show me your beads?

I caught chefs taking photos all night long.  Here’s Philly.

This dish was the Maine Scallop with Celery Root, White Chocolate, and Kumquat.  You might think that the dish would be too sweet, but it was perfectly balanced in flavor and texture.  I could eat this up all night long. 

Caught Chef Steven Cak in the act!

This drop dead gorgeous dish has got to be my favorite borscht so far.  It is Warm Borscht, Corned duck, Red and Golden Beets, Caraway Rye, Granny Smith Apple, and Creme Fraiche. 

The borscht was poured at the table, and it was rich with favor and interesting in texture.  If you didn’t like borscht before, please see Chef Steve Cak for an attitude adjustment. 

The next dish was Crispy Beef Tongue, Corndog Puree, Red Cabbage Kimchi, and Sriracha Jus. 

It was kind of like a corn dog, kind of sort of, but way better. 

Next was a little sorbet with basil seeds that wasn’t on the menu.  It was a lovely palate cleanser.

And here’s the plating of the Red Cabbage Creme Brulee. 

Red Cabbage Creme Brulee with Pistachio Dacquoise and Apple Parsnip Mousse.  This dessert reminded me again, of how vegetable can have a place at the dessert plate.  The subtle yet distinct flavor of the red cabbage in this offering was like the veggies snuck up on you. 

The final tasting of the night were little Chouxs filled with Plinio’s Trentino Gelato.  I’ve had the Bill Norris Honey Mezcal, and it is pretty darn tasty as well.  I would highly recommend them.

Hello, Lovely Chouxs!

The Happy Chefs!

More Happy Chefs!

Dessert Project #3 by

With Permission.

Last night we went to our second Dessert Project, we missed the November dinner while away on vacation. Once again it did not disappoint, Phillip Speer, Steven Cak and Plinio Sandalio put on quite a dinner/dessert display. We were very happy to hear that this wouldn’t be the last one.

The format was the same as it was for the first 2 dinners, each chef make a savory course and then follow up with a sweet course using the same flavor profile for each course.

Amuse Bouche Trio of Cauliflower

The dinner started off with a Amuse Bouche from Chef Speer, a trio of cauliflower, pickled red cauliflower, roasted golden cauliflower and a green cauliflower puree. It was definitely a great way to start off the meal.

Maine Scallop

Up next came the 1st main course, this one from Chef Speer’s, Maine Scallop, with celery root, white chocolate and kumquats. Sweet white chocolate with perfectly cooked scallop worked very well together.

Warm Borscht

We move to Chef Cak’s first dish, Warm Borscht with corned duck, red and golden beets, caraway rye, granny smith apples and creme fraiche. For the rest of the night and still today we are talking about the corned duck, it was truly amazing, this dish was a home run.

Crispy Beef Tongue

Our last savory course came from chef Sandalio, Crispy Beef Tongue serviced with corn dog puree, red cabbage kimchi and sriracha jus. This was right up my alley, and elevated corn dog with tons of spice what’s not to like.


We then had a nice palate cleanser featuring mango, blood orange and mint.

Red Cabbage Creme Brulee

On to the sweet side of the dinner, starting us off was chef Sandalio with Red cabbage creme brulee which included pistachio dacquoise and apple parsnip mousse.

Red and Golden Beets

We next had chef Cak’s dessert, Red and Golden Beets, featuring white chocolate, buddha’s hand, kalamansi, labne and navel oranges.

Vanilla Rum Baba

We finished off the Dessert Project with chef Speer’s Vanilla Rum Baba, which included celeriac namelaka, brown butter sorbet and pine nuts.

Overall it was a great meal and we had a great time, we had a chance to eat some wonderful food and meet some great people, Jennie of Misohungry fame, thanks for the light, I forgot how dark it was in the Carillon and Olivia / Sugar Mama herself, we have obsessed over the cupcakes and bars at her bakeshop for many years, so nice to put a face with the sweets.


Pastry chefs from The Carillon, Uchiko and Parkside Come Together to Host Dinner

WHO:  Join James Beard nominees Plinio Sandalio (The Carillon) and Philip Speer (Uchiko), along with nominee for Food and Wine’s Best New Pastry Chef Steven Cak (Parkside) for an incredible evening. A savory and sweet menu will be created for a multi-course dinner and wine pairing


WHAT: Three distinguished Austin Chefs team up to create an unforgettable evening. This is the third dinner in a series they have created in which these pastry chefs return to their roots and cook savory dishes.  Hosted at The Carillon, sommelier Patrick Jones will also provide wine pairings for each dish.


WHEN: Sunday, February 26, 2012, 7:00pm guest arrival, 8:00pm dinner served


WHERE: The Carillon at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center,

1900 University Avenue, Austin, TX 78705


TO RSVP: Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased by calling 512-404-3655 or email

Media Contact: Jennifer Sisk / Giant Noise / /(512) 382-9017