The Ultimate Easter Egg
I don't know if pastry chef Michael Laiskonis was thinking of Easter when he put his "egg" on the tasting menu at Manhattan's Le Bernardin, but I don't care. It's perfect for this time of year, when egg-related things are everywhere in anticipation of spring and Easter, as well as Passover. Anyway, his "egg," a hollowed-out egg shell filled with layers of chocolate pot de crème and riffs on caramel, left me speechless. As he explains it: "I began experimenting with traditional crème brûlee, but quickly ended up with the flavors that would become the 'egg' as it is today: milk chocolate crème brûlee, warm liquid caramel, caramel foam, a few drops of maple syrup, and the key ingredient, a pinch of sea salt. The result is, in my opinion, greater than the sum of its parts, with its interplay of texture, temperature, and the brief pop of sea salt." I asked him what inspired such deliciousness and he told me it was his egg "topper"—a tool used to cleanly remove the tops from egg shells. He also said he was inspired by the famous egg amuse at Arpège in Paris.