From the Disney Parks Blog and written by: Nicole Cantore
The treats at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort are truly works of art that are as beautiful as they are delicious. In honor of Women’s History Month, we are joining in to Celebrate Her Story by showcasing the talented pastry chefs behind just a few of the sweet treats from both coasts. Each of these women has masterfully created truly magical dishes that Disney foodies like yourself love to indulge in, like the Citrus Crème Brûlée at Disney’s Riviera Resort or the iconic Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num at Disney California Adventure park.
In this latest edition of Sweet Treats, I am pleased to share with you six of these desserts from Disney Parks created by women. Take a special peek at these pastry chefs’ signature items and what makes them a part of the Disney foodie magic.
Walt Disney World Resort
As a pastry sous chef at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Production Bakery, Kat Krause had total creative freedom to whip up the Chocolate Coconut Cake at The Hollywood Brown Derby. This plant-based dessert is a chocolate coconut cake with hazelnut cream, chocolate sauce, chocolate-covered cocoa nibs, and fresh raspberries. Kat had a strong desire to create a plant-based dessert so that guests who are vegan, like her mother, can join in on all the foodie action. Her mom was actually the person to suggest this recipe! This talented pastry sous chef loves mentoring other chefs to embrace their passions in the kitchen. If you ever catch her in the kitchen trying a new technique or recipe, you may even see her crossing her fingers for an extra touch of good luck!
Over at Disney’s Riviera Resort, you’ll find Pastry Sous Chef Monique Perez whose signature dessert is the Citrus Crème Brûlée. This dish, found at Topolino’s Terrace, is a white chocolate-and citrus-based crème brûlée with miniature sugared beignets, strawberry foam, Morello cherry compote, and chocolate meringues topped with a special 50th anniversary milk chocolate stamp. Inspired by Chef Monique’s travels to France and love of the cuisine, this dish is a combined effort of the pastry team bringing something truly special to the 50th festivities. This chef’s favorite part about her job is working amongst her fellow pastry chefs as they push boundaries and embrace each other’s creativity. And whether you’re a home cook, foodie, or fellow chef, she couldn’t recommend tweezers in the kitchen more!
If you venture to Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts or Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, you’ll find the talented Courtney Slack, a regional pastry sous chef who loves being a part of an ever-growing industry with endless possibilities. Being able to share the unique culinary experience with others is one of her favorite parts of being a pastry chef. The Pecan Pie Cheesecake at Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside is her go-to sweet treat, which she re-imagined with inspiration from her memories of this classic dessert. This dish features a delicious vanilla bean cheesecake with a salted pecan graham cracker crust atop a silky pecan pie filling finished off with a bourbon caramel sauce and spiced candied pecans. When it comes to kitchen gadgets, Courtney suggests busting out a bench scraper for easy access and its versatile use.
As we take a trip out West, we’ll find Graciela Gomez, a pastry sous chef at Disneyland Resort who has a crucial role in the creation of the incredibly delicious Jack-Jack Cookie Num Num at Pixar Pier. This unique treat, and Disney California Adventure park must-try, is a tasty giant chocolate chunk cookie served warm for that gooey goodness. Being inspired by the character Jack Jack from “The Incredibles,” this cookie is a perfect addition to the yummy eats at Pixar Pier. This talented pastry chef loves being able to tell a story and share her love of Disney through food, and Jack Jack’s Cookie Num Num is a perfect example of that. Fun fact about Chef Gracie, if she wasn’t whipping up delicious desserts, she’d be a kindergarten teacher.
Disneyland Resort is home to many tasty treats, including the Pistachio Cherry Chocolate Parfait at Galactic Grill. And this delicious dessert is created by Stephanie Yee, a pastry sous chef at Disneyland Resort. The parfait, which is inspired by none other than Boba Fett from Star Wars and his thrilling story, is made up of layers of pistachio mousse, red velvet cake, tart cherries, chocolate crunchies, and chocolate flavor-filled boba. While this talented chef loves using her creativity to highlight her deep love of all things sweets, you may be surprised to learn she is quite the picky eater herself.
Nestled within Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, you’ll find Napa Rose, along with the delicious Dark Chocolate Pâté and Pastry Sous Chef Diana Eid. This pastry sous chef and her team tie in the inspiration from Napa Valley itself to create this dish daily for sweet enthusiasts. The dish is a 64% chocolate pate with hazelnut crème anglaise, hazelnut Chantilly, and port reduction sauce. Seeing the joy that food brings guests and being able to let her ideas run wild onto the plate is what makes this the sweetest job ever for Chef Diana. For her, the whisk is the go-to gadget for any chef at any level, and she herself owns about 20!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of Sweet Treats and learned more about the skilled pastry chefs who bring the sweets we all love to life with that extra touch of Disney magic. Be sure to use #CelebrateHERStory to see all the incredible women being celebrated this month!
(Note: All offerings are subject to change.)
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