Have you ever seen a plate of dessert that looked like a masterpiece of art? I have. This month I’m featuring a different kind of chef: a Confectionary Chef. Chef Antonio Bachour of Miami’s Bal Harbour St. Regis Hotel and Resort. Antonio is what I lovingly refer to as the Picasso of Sweet. The color composition in a single creation is astounding. Every plate, every pastry, every chocolate, every confection – each one has a distinct presence and a visual that immediately invigorates your senses. I dare you to look at the images below and NOT crave all of it.
Antonio Bachour is not merely a Confectionary Chef, he is an Artist like no other. He creates with passion and love and the careful consideration he gives to every ingredient from inception to execution is something that only an artist could understand. The placement of a single flower or dust of sugar or situated garnish is breathtaking. A prestigious chef in his own right, the beauty of Antonio is much like his creations, he has no pretense. He is a truly talented pastry and confectionary chef who leaves ego out of every piece he envisions. Antonio has been recognized as one of the greatest pastry chefs in America and in Europe. His dedication, ease, creativity, and vision is unending. I watch as his imagination fills the plate with color and possibility and I find myself longing to see what he will come up with next.
This fall I will be in Miami just to taste his creations and I cannot wait. Thank you, Antonio! Gracias por la vision de arto de comida y por la tiempo a parlé con tigo. (Forgive the terrible Spanish!)
You can indulge in Antonio Bachour’s creations at St. Regis Bal Harbour Miami. The hotel recently completed renovations and much like Antonio’s desserts, it is truly beautiful.
Please enjoy the recipe by Confectionary Chef, Antonio Bachour at the end of this post for Coconut Custard
ATOD, Dawn Garcia – DG: Where did your love of dessert stem from?
Antonio Bachour (AB): From childhood watching my mother making homemade dessert. I loved to watch her!
DG: I refer to you as the Picasso of sweet. What artist inspires you?[/question]
AB: Antoni Tàpies. He was a Catalanpainter, sculptor and art theorist, who became one of the most famous European artists of his generation. He was born in Barcelona in 1923 Catalan.
(To see his latest collection and read more about who he is, visit his official site: Antoni Tàpies[/answer]
DG: If you could cook your favorite dish to accompany your desserts, what would it be and why?
AB: Monk fish with cauliflower, romesco florets, and dehydrated broccoli chips.
DG: Favorite champagne?
AB: Pink Dom Perignon and Caravelle champagne.
DG: Favorite sound?
AB: My favorite sound is rain falling.
DG: Favorite smell?
DG: What is your favorite childhood memory?
AB: Playing outside.
DG: If you could serve your creations to anyone in the world, from any period in time, who would it be?
AB: My Dad, never ate my dessert! that would be the person who most wish I!!
DG: What edible flower do you feel embodies the true “sexy” of your pastry and confection creations?
AB: Cosmo flowers, lavender flowers, blue basil bloom, borage and johnny jump ups (violas).
DG: What inspires you to create such exquisite dessert?
AB: Almost always inspired me with simple things!!
DG: How did you come to St. Regis?
AB: I like Miami and the St Regis is the best hotel in Miami. I meet with the Executive Chef Jordi Valles and the rest is history!
DG: Ocean or mountains?
DG: Favorite childhood cartoon or comic strip?
AB: G.I. Joe
DG: What are you most passionate about in life?
AB: My Nephews!! I love them so much!!!!!!!!!!
DG: Describe your perfect day…
AB: My perfect day come to work at 6 am creating some new desserts, play tennis, and have a nice Japanese cuisine dinner!
DG: Would you like to do a book? Story and recipes?
AB: I’m in the process of writing a dessert cookbook, I will let you know!!
Bio of Confectionary Chef, Antonio Bachour
Antonio Bachour grew up in Puerto Rico and was hooked on pastry from a young age, thanks to a childhood spent in his family’s bakery. He went on to graduate from Johnson & Wales, and then spent his first few years honing his trade in Puerto Rico as a pastry at Sand Hotel and Casino and Westin Rio Mar before moving on to the Ritz-Carlton in San Juan, where he was pastry sous chef for two years. 2001 found Bachour States-bound, in Miami Beach, as executive pastry chef at Talula. And soon he was trying his hand at Italian delicacies at both Devito South Beach and Scarpetta in New York and Miami.
In 2009, Bachour was asked by KNR Food Concepts to be a part of the opening team at the W South Beach Hotel. Shortly after, he took over responsibility for all pastries for The Trump Soho hotel and its restaurants. In April 2011 Bachour trained in France with renowned Chef Philippe Givre at L’ Ecole Valrhona. This year Dessert Professional Magazine selected Bachour as one of their “Top 10 Pastry Chefs” in America for 2011. Antonio was finalists in the 2011 International Chef Congress Pastry Competition.
Bachour’s hyper-creative desserts have been featured in numerous pastry publications, such as Saber y Sabor (Spain), Starchefs (The Architecture of New York), Gourmet Magazine, Dessert Professional, Pastry Art & Design, National Culinary Review (Magazine of the American Culinary Federation).
Additionally, Bachour’s provided recipes for the Alan Battman dessert cookbook Pudding (2010) and Pies (2011).
A Recipe from Antonio Bachour
1/2 cup unsweetened toasted coconut flakes
15 ounces coconut milk
22 ounces heavy cream
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
In a small sauce pot, heat the coconut flakes, coconut milk, heavy cream, and sugar until the mixture begins to boil slightly. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk 1 cup of the mixture into the egg yolks. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining liquid and stir to combine, put it back in the stove in low heat and cook just a little. Pour this through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the Coconut batter into a ramekin or ring mold. Wrap the dish entirely with plastic wrap. Bake in a steam oven with high Fan 215F for 35 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven, remove the plastic, and allow the custard to cool for 10 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.