Thursday, November 06, 2008

The mixing bowl: Baked

Anyone with eyeballs and a sweet tooth know that Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito of Red Hook’s adorable bakery, Baked, have crazy talent and taste. But now we see their style and senses of humor are pretty delicious, too.

Growing up, my favorite sweet was:
Matt: Easily, hands down, Entenmann's chocolate chip cookies (hey, I didn't know).
Nato: My eyes used to roll into the back of my head when I ate Nutella. It was exotic at the time and I would only be able to eat it when someone brought it back from Italy.

My favorite sweet now is:
Matt: I am a sucker for our brownies with vanilla ice cream.
Nato: Most forms of anything chocolate.

My personal Baked favorite:
Matt: If I am feeling cake, it will always be the Sweet and Salty Cake.
Nato: The chocolate chip cookie is a perennial fave.

What I love about Red Hook is:
Matt: It still has a neighborhood feel and the water views of the city are mesmerizing
Nato: I like our regulars a lot. They are friendly, funny and sometimes I wish I weren't so busy so I could chat with them some more!

Truffles or pralines:
Matt: Truffles all the way. I like pralines, but they are usually too sweet.
Nato: Truffles, hands-down.

White, milk or dark:
Matt: Dark, dark, dark.
Nato: Milk, milk, milk!

Caramel, ganache or cream:
Matt: I am rather ganache crazy.
NATO: You know? I’d have to say caramel. My sweet tooth is very sweet.

The perfect pairing:
Matt: Red wine, Ambien, bath tub.
Nato: Cheese and burger.

I'd love to create a flavor for:
Matt: McDonald's. They mastered the french fry; I will fix their dismal dessert menu.
Nato: Top Pot Doughnuts. I just recently fell in love with them.

Kitchen essentials:
Matt: KitchenAid mixer, whisks, commercial baking sheets.
Nato: I really get a lot of mileage out of my toaster oven, surprisingly. Also, a really good chef’s knife. And lastly, a coffee maker and some really great coffee.

Style essentials:
Matt: I am a minimalist. Nothing too fancy.
Nato: Simple is usually the hardest to do, but always turns out the best.

Pastry chefs I admire:
Matt: I fell in love with one of Nicole Kaplan's desserts....I fell hard.
Nato: Hmmm… tough one. I think Wendy Kromer is pretty amazing as a decorator... I’m very easy to please when it comes to desserts. I even fawn over the Great Wall of Chocolate at P.F. Chang’s.

I'm most inspired when:

Matt: I am a terrible sleeper. I usually start thinking hard around 1 a.m.
Nato: When I have time to stop, step out of the situation and think. If I keep going, I lose steam pretty quickly and have a hard time coming to solutions.

How much is too much?
Matt: I always err on the side of it is always too much.
Nato: I don't like clutter, in my mind or with my physical surroundings. I get too distracted, so I would say too much is the point where things start to look or get too confusing. Keep it simple.

Favorite movie snack:

Matt: M&Ms.
Nato: Those little chocolate covered pretzel balls — Flipz? I don't even know the name, but man, are they good.

Guilty pleasure:
Matt: Day off of work.
Nato: Spending a whole day doing absolutely nothing. Hasn't happened much these days, though.

Other favorites:
Matt: I love me some Las Vegas, Paris, and most books.
Nato: Folksy, pop-y, electronic-y sounding tunes: Iron and Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Tracey Thorn, The Ting Tings, Beirut, Yelle, Adele, Jose Gonzales, and a little old Fleetwood Mac thrown in for good measure. Food: Italian, Mexican, comfort (in that order). Books: My Life in France, and David Sedaris always makes me laugh. 30 Rock. Brilliance. Paris, Amsterdam and, most recently, Portland, Oregon.

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