Pastry chefs, long the unsung heroes of the culinary world, are getting lots of attention of late for the sweet finishes they bring to the perfect meal. So I was thrilled to get to ask a few questions of Sarah Magoon, the new pastry chef at Steak 954 at the W Fort Lauderdale.
Q: How have events like the South Beach Food & Wine Festival stoked your creativity and inspired creations?
A: That one, in particular, is an amazing event to attend. As far as inspiration goes, it's really hard not to be inspired being around some of the top chefs in the country, eating their food and also spotting certain trends.These events are also great to see how other chefs use certain ingredients and flavor combinations that I wouldn't otherwise use.
Q: How do you use Florida ingredients in your creations?
A: Using local ingredients as much as I can is a must for me. Working for a larger restaurant group such as Starr Restaurants allows us to support smaller farms, which is very important. Right now I am using Tropical Delights, a small five-acre farm in Homestead which does a lot of charity work and gives back to surrounding communities by building urban gardens, From them, I get some beautiful edible flowers, micro herbs and certain berries. As summer approaches they will have an abundance of local, exotic tropical fruits.
Q: Sounds delicious! Do you have a favorite local source for farm fresh ingredients when you're cooking at home?
A: Almost every Sunday I like to go to Josh’s Organic Garden. It’s a farmers market on Hollywood Beach that's open every Sunday. It's great for yummy heirloom tomatoes, herbs, greens and seasonal fruit. Great spot and killer smoothies!
Thanks for your time, Chef Magoon!
401 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd., Fort Lauderdale