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Le Bernardin's Michael Laiskonis Makes 'Citrus'

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Introducing Sound Bites, an Eater original video feature in which footage of the city's most badass chefs crafting their signature dishes is paired with tunes from up-and-coming independent musicians. Regarding the volume: turn it up.

Michael Laiskonis, "Citrus" from Eater NY on Vimeo.

There's no better way to begin a new feature than in the hallowed kitchens of Le Bernardin. So, for the premier edition Sound Bites, Eater asked pastry chef Michael Laiskonis to demonstrate the artistry behind his dessert dubbed "Citrus." Watch him above, then read his inspiration for the dish below. Musical thanks to the band Ennui.


This dish was born out of winter citrus season, when the hint of Spring fruits is still weeks away. We started with the sorbet, actually red grapefruit with a touch of tequila, and built the dessert from there.

The thought process behind and evolution of any particular dish is often hard to trace. I know I was thinking both about cocktails and Latin flavors to some degree. The lime parfait followed next; it's really just a very traditional lime curd that's lightened with whipped cream and set with a bit of gelatin. Spraying the rectangles of parfait with a velvety white chocolate coating is an old trick; we use a paint sprayer form the hardware store, a favorite source of inspiration for a lot of pastry chefs!

The other components slowly came into focus: a beautiful avocado puree inspired by one of Alex Stupak's old desserts at Alinea, a grapefruit 'meringue' whipped up with soy protein, and little pebbles of a sour-sugar mixture, ground with mint in a mortar and pestle. The dry meringue adds a crisp counterpoint to all the creamy stuff going on.

It's the kind of dessert that works well on our menu, as it echos some of the flavors and the lightness of Chef Ripert's seafood dishes that precede it. It's totally the sort of thing I would order to close a meal.

Want your dish or music featured in Sounds Bites? Email
· Ennui [MySpace]
· All Coverage of Le Bernardin [~ENY~]

Le Bernardin

155 West 51st Street, Manhattan, NY 10019 (212) 554-1515 Visit Website

Le Bernardin

155 West 51st St., New York, NY