Last Tuesday (9/10), the French Cheese Board launched its new exhibition; Sweet Cheese. Top New York City Chefs, French Dairy products corporations, cheesemongers as well as influencers from the United States and the Middle East region were invited to the party.
For this event, Joe Ciardullo from C’est Cheese created a large buffet gathering some of the best French Cheeses. The guests had a choice of 23 cheeses from washed rinds to firm cheeses.
What is Sweet Cheese?
To highlight the gastronomic links between France and the rest of the
world, we’ve asked 6 New York City chefs to create a dessert featuring a French cheese – channeling their roots and their memories of childhood, their love of cuisine, and of course, fromage. Their recipes are full of imagination, and full of flavor.
Clarisa Martino is the Executive Pastry Chef for Gato, a Mediterranean restaurant with a heavy Hispanic influence started by Bobby Flay, a famous restaurateur and television personality with multiple restaurants to his name. Chef Martino describes her culinary self as a traditional rustic pastry chef who is keen on strong flavors. As an Italian, she grew up with cheese as it was a part of her culture and consumed it often. She created a cheesecake with Tomme de Savoie, a staple on Gato’s menu since its opening. As a chef for 17 years, she knew as soon as she tried the Tomme, it was going to work.
Chef Gustavo Tzoc was born in Guatemala City and moved to California at 15 before attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He’s worked at the renowned kitchens of David Burke & Donatella and in 2017, joined Junoon, an Indian restaurant founded by Rajesh Bhardwaj. He loved
watching his grandmother cook Guatemalan cuisine when he was younger and knew cooking was something he always wanted to do. Upon tasting the Pont l’Evêque, its bitterness and nuttiness presented a challenge and that’s why he selected the Norman cheese for his recipe, Wada Wada on the Bridge.
Chef Delpique of Albertville, France and Chef Motoki of Japan work at 21 Club, one of New York’s top restaurants since 1930, offering traditional American cuisine with French touches. Growing up, both chefs were not exposed to cheese and despite that, believe it has something special to offer. The French technique is very much present at the 21 Club kitchen and choosing the cheese for the project, it only made sense to recreate a very specific and typical French dessert, the Far Breton. The Crémeux de Citeaux, a triple crème, was the perfect cheese to add some creaminess and a lactic touch to the Far Breton.
Chef Paola Marocchi is the Corporate Pastry Chef for the Tao Group and gets to oversee the pastry department on multiple occasions. Although her native country of Argentina doesn’t count many cheeses, her Italian background is where cheese plays a role in her life. Her grandmother would make things at home from scratch like ricotta and when it comes to hearing the word cheese, she immediately thinks of creamy deliciousness. She learned to make many French desserts during her tenure at Alain Ducasse’ Bistro Benoit. For her creation, she wanted to make something simple with visual appeal. The creaminess and the tanginess of fromage blanc was the perfect complement to the sweet meringue and seasonal strawberries used in the Le Vacherin Fraise.
Chef Joe Murphy has worked at some of New York’s best restaurants over the past 25 years and in 2003, became the Corporate Pastry Chef for Jean-Georges, one of the most prestigious restaurants in New York City. He appreciates Georges mentorship and understanding of balance in food. When he hears the word fromage, he thinks of a Comté burger and the cheese carts in Europe. For his recipe, Brie’s salty and creamy qualities were why he chose it for the ice cream. To him, it was interesting to have a dessert on the savory side and balanced it with freeze-dried fruit containing natural sugars and added crispiness.
Juan Pardo, who hails from Mexico, has worked for famous New York kitchens which includes Picholine, Gotham Bar & Grill, Zengo, Boqueria, and many others. He is the current Executive Pastry Chef at Barbounia, a restaurant focused on modern Mediterranean cuisine influenced by the South of France, Greece, and Morocco. His Mexican roots have influenced and inspired his love for cooking after seeing the hard work and passion chefs would put into each of their creations. Chef Pardo loves seeing people enjoying his food and it gives him motivation to create new recipes. Langres was his choice for Sweet Cheese and as he was familiar with its creamy texture and bittersweet flavor and aroma, he thought it was the perfect cheese to incorporate in the Napoléon Kanafeh.