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In the Pastry Kitchen at David Burke's Primehouse

By Anthony Todd in Food on May 5, 2010 4:00PM

Whenever a beautiful and complex dessert arrives at our table, we are in awe. How did they get all those bits to line up so beautifully? So, when we get a chance to go behind the scenes and watch a great pastry chef, we always jump at the chance. Last week, we got to watch Jove Hubbard, pastry chef at David Burke's Primehouse. We'd previously thought of Primehouse as a great place for steak (naturally) but after this visit we'll be stopping in for dessert.

Hubbard creates delectable and often whimsical desserts for customers to enjoy. "The King," for example, an "Elvis inspired ice cream sandwich," contains all the elements that the great man loved: fried bananas, caramel, bacon (in the form of an amazing brittle) and peanut butter ice cream. He often uses seasonal ingredients, as in the special not-yet-on-menu dessert we watched him make out of rhubarb - a pastry shell filled with a homemade rhubarb compote, topped with a lavender flan and surrounded by fresh berries.

It's also nice to see that professionals have some of the same trials that home pastry chefs have. Un-molding flan, one of our least favorite activities (it always goes badly) made Hubbard a little bit nervous. On the other hand, he gets to play with toys we never would have - including a custom built 2-drawer ice cream freezer to hold the restaurant's huge variety of flavors. In the gallery, check out a step-by-step look at how great desserts are created, and check back later this week for a special recipe, courtesy of Jove.