Welcome back to another Meet the Chef blog post from Tea With Me and Friends where we meet the creative talent behind one of the afternoon teas we have recently enjoyed.
This time we asked Dale DeSimone all about his afternoon tea at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel. Dale has recently been appointed Executive Pastry Chef and we enjoyed his afternoon tea adventure a couple of weekends ago.
Dale has over twenty years experience in the USA, the UAE and London , but his most recent experience was at Sketch restaurant by Pierre Gagnaire, where he was Head Pastry Chef. Dale has been cooking since he was very young, and has a special interest in chocolate. Dale will lead a team of nine pastry chefs at Grosvenor House.
If you missed our recent blog post about the Grosvenor House afternoon tea, here is a little photo....
|Afternoonn tea - Grosvenor House|
So...after enjoying this scrummy afternoon tea...we needed to ask Dale our afternoon tea questions....
Q. How long does it usually take you to create new afternoon teas?
I think it is hard to put a time on how long it takes to put together a menu. The creative side of it is ongoing and never really stops. Ideas are constantly evolving and changing. Once all the ideas for a specific menu are on paper there will be a series of tests and trials to follow. The next step is training the kitchen and restaurant teams. Only after this will our guests get their first taste. This process could take as little as a week or as long as a month.
Q. Where does your inspiration for new teas come from?
Inspiration for me could come from anywhere – a patisserie, a book/magazine or a restaurant. Sometimes my ideas come from things that are less traditional and completely unrelated to food – a display in a clothing store window, an art show, a walk through park. Inspiration can strike at any time, when it does I try to make a note of it and save it for a time when I need it.
|Dale DeSimone - Executive Pastry Chef - Grosvenor House|
Q. What is your favourite part of your latest afternoon tea?
This is my first tea menu at the Grosvenor House and I am still finding the perfect fit for our Anna’s afternoon tea menu. It is exciting that we are taking an approach focusing on seasonal British products and traditions. I think that concentrating more on these products and flavours, and less on the garnish, will really help us to create something special.
Q. Do you enjoy a spot of afternoon tea yourself and have you tried tea anywhere else?
Afraid I am more of a coffee person… Just kidding… but not really… My version of afternoon tea is to sample the patisseries and bakeries of the area during my time off. In contrast to the traditional English afternoon tea, you would be more likely to find me at a shop that I have not been to before sampling the cakes and pastries they offer while enjoying a coffee or tea
Q. What is your favourite filling in an afternoon tea sandwich
Egg with horseradish… or maybe pickle and cheddar, that has grown on me since coming to the UK.
Q. The all important question - do you put cream or jam on your scone first?
That is funny… I am American, scones for us are a breakfast treat and come in a huge variety of flavours. The traditional English scone with jam and cream, or cream and jam, is nice but would be my second choice.
We'd like to thank Dale for taking the time to answer our questions - its great to hear from the person behind the afternoon tea creations that we enjoy.
If you'd like to know more about Dale's afternoon tea at Grosvenor House pop by their website.
Thank you for popping by today,
Rachel & Lorna