Chef of the Week: Lauren Cheong

A trained pastry chef, Lauren Cheong studied at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone and The French Pastry School in Chicago before earning her master’s degree in gastronomy from the University of Adelaide, Australia. She has served as a pastry chef at Chez TJ in Mountain View, California and as a research and development pastry chef at Full Bloom Baking Company in Newark, California. Lauren also loves to travel and often uses her itineraries when vacationing to incorporate searches for special breads, pastries, chocolate shops, and cheeses.

What is your favorite food to prepare?
Ice cream, particularly ginger and coffee flavors, is my favorite food to prepare. I don’t make ice cream often, but when I do, I love making—and eating—it.

What do you enjoy most about being a part of the ChefsBest panel?
I like how the ChefsBest tasting process requires us chefs to break down flavors into all the individual contributing factors that create that flavor experience. Even a subtle flavor note contributes to the overall experience.

What is the most original dish/recipe you have ever created?
I’ve made several unusual desserts. One of my favorites was a honey quince crisp topped with celery ice cream and a candied celery garnish.

What is your favorite ingredient in the kitchen and why?
Salt is my favorite ingredient. It’s important even in desserts. While sugar, honey, or other sweeteners are a given with pastries and desserts, the experience of “sweet” is only one element out of several in a great pastry or dessert. Salt is a subtle dessert ingredient that can help balance the overall taste. Of course, on the savory side, the taste experience of salt is even more important.

To learn more about Lauren Cheong, and all of our other Certified Master Tasters click here.