Friday, September 26, 2008

The mixing bowl: Benjamin Van Leeuwen

Let's hear it for principles! The only thing that makes sweets better is when smart, compassionate people that you actually want to sit around the kitchen table with create them. Like Ben Van Leeuwen—who sometimes caves in to Heinz ketchup, but is otherwise devoted to purely unmolested products.

Growing up, my favorite sweet was:
Chocolate croissant

My favorite sweet now is:
Hot fudge sundae

My personal Van Leeuwen flavor:

What I love about being mobile is:
Not paying rent and being able to put the savings into the best ingredients and earth-friendly packaging.

Truffles or pralines:

White, milk or dark:
Milk, actually.

Caramel, ganache or cream:

The perfect pairing:
Espresso ice cream, fudge and cocoa nibs.

Kitchen essentials:
Real balsamic vinegar, grape-seed oil, shallots, 2-3 artisan cloth bound cheddars, 1 English cheddar for grilled cheese, mushrooms, ginger.

Pastry chefs I admire:
Not exactly a pastry chef, but Michael London, from Saratoga Springs.

I'm most inspired when:
I taste incredible food.

Favorite movie snack:

Guilty pleasure:
Enjoying Heinz ketchup with french fries, even though it has high fructose corn syrup.

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