As New York’s sexiest chef Johnny Iuzzini has committed to being an Inked Rogue Chef I was compelled to pre-order his book Dessert FourPlay, which finally arrived after Christmas, and after months of anticipation. I had no idea what to expect and had no intention of actually reading a recipe book (I know, not a typical chef’s perspective). Instead I found myself unable to put it down and inspired to do pastry again professionally (now if only there were any jobs…). The pictures are almost three dimensional and the desserts are all doable in a home kitchen. There is very little of the “molecular gastronomy” techniques or ingredients,which is impressive considering how inventive, haute and modern everything seems, and all of the ingredients that seem like they might be remotely inaccessible, Johnny clearly lists where to find them on the same recipe page! He uses tomatoes, parsley, balsamic vinegar, beets, basil, and rhubarb pickles combines with vanilla, cream, chocolate, simple syrup and cake…and it all makes sense!
Most intriguing to me at this point? Powdered Coconut milk (used in a portion of the Strawberry FourPlay), Candied Beets, Herb scented fruit leather, and homemade Japanese Mochi!
Johnny plays with texture, flavor, temperature, innovation, and technique throughout the book, offers ways to cheat by “making it simpler”, and provides accessible resources. Each theme or ingredient is presented in four completely distinct versions that will be sure to open your mind and send your palate into another dimension. Dessert FourPlay will be the most invaluable book to the home or professional Rogue (pastry) Chef in recent memory.
To see a video clip of Johnny on ABC click here.