A Day in the Life of a Pastry Chef
“Would you like to see a dessert menu?”
These words are synonymous with the ending of a meal, and provoke many follow up questions: Do I really have room for dessert? Should I be good and skip it? Should I just take a peak?
One of our local restaurants has fantastic desserts, and we find ourselves ordering that last delicious sweet more often here than other places. We have also gotten to know the master behind these decadent delights and decided to investigate further. When so often the focus is solely on the Chef, we thought it would be fun to turn the spotlight on our favorite Pastry Chef.
Please meet MacKenzie Loughlin, Pastry Chef at B Street Restaurant and Bar.
1) Was there a certain moment that you knew you wanted to be a pastry chef?
I have been really interested in cooking and baking my entire life. My father’s parents were farmers in Alabama and my sisters and I would spend summers and holiday breaks with them on their farm. My grandmother was a great cook and would have traditional southern breakfasts and dinners every day. I would always go home to my mothers house Maine and try to recreate all of my favorite dishes without much success! My love for all things baking came when I got a kitchen aid mixer and a Martha Stewart cookbook for Christmas when I was 13. I haven’t stopped baking since!
2) Where did you go to pastry school?
I have a BS in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson & Wales University.
3) What is your typical day / week like?
Like most pastry chefs, I’m a natural early riser. I live in the South Shore, so to make sure I am at work by five I am up at quarter to four! Once at work, and the coffee is made, I start my production list for the day. The most laborious and time consuming item I make at B Street is any bread item, so that is always first on my list. In between the mixing, rising, proofing, kneading and resting of the bread, I work on whatever else needs to get done that day. I have about four to six seasonal menu changes a year, so it’s always something different depending on the season.
4) Most interesting ingredient you’ve ever used in a recipe?
In pastry school I was introduced and got to use numerous different ingredients from many different cultures. Recently I have been really into salty and sweet flavor combinations. I have come up with a bacon and chocolate chip cookie recipe that friends, family and coworkers can’t get enough of. It will be a garnish for a bourbon pecan bread pudding that is going on my new fall menu that is coming out in late September.
5) What is your favorite thing that you’ve created for B Street?
There are so many! Last winter my favorite dessert was the salted peanut turtle tart. Like I said before, I can’t get enough of the salty sweet combo! Right now I really like the S’more Baked Alaska. It’s such a classic dessert with a fun, childlike twist!
6) Competition shows on TV (i.e. Food Network) featuring pastry chefs have really have really taken off; do you watch any of them? If so, what’s your favorite and why?
I tried getting into Top Chef Just Desserts, but I would get too nervous watching the chefs trying to create items with limited time and no recipes an I couldn’t enjoy it. I was a huge follower of Duff Goldman’s Ace of Cakes and would watch it religiously every week. In college I did an internship at Truly Jörg’s, so any time Jörg Amsler is on a Food Network Challenge, I’m glued to the TV!
7) Do you foresee anything up and coming in the pastry scene that we should keep a watch for?
I’m not really into trends in food. I do think with so many people following restricted diets, I do think we will be seeing a huge jump in bakery’s and restaurants being more aware to the needs of those people.
Boston Creme Pie
So there you have it. A 4 am wake up call in order to get her incredible creations ready for dessert. Jon’s personal favorite when B Street first opened was the Chocolate Pudding. Chef Loughlin used to play a larger roll in the brunch menu, and since B Street has made some changes recently, we find ourselves craving that Monkey Bread! As the Fall approaches, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of her bourbon pecan bread pudding; if it’s anything like last year’s bread pudding, the trip out to Newton will be worth it! No matter what your dessert preferences are, we hope you take a minute to appreciate the remarkable men and women behind them.
This post is dedicated to our dessert-loving friend and fellow blogger Megan of Delicious Dishings. As her wedding day approaches, we wish Megan all the best, and a lifetime filled with love happiness, and of course, desserts!
For more of our posts about B Street, check out our Restaurants tab!
Where is your go-to place for dessert?