Narcissa opened earlier this year and is already making a name for itself. The East Village restaurant prides itself on the locality of its ingredients. They are primarily sourced from the farm at Locusts on Hudson, owned by real estate mogul André Balazs. The name Narcissa even comes from a dairy cow at the farm.
Deborah Racicot, having aspired to be a chef since childhood, now runs the pastry kitchen at Narcissa. She grew up in Vermont with a father who loved to garden and a mother and grandmother who loved to bake, so she was exposed to local ingredients and pastry technique at a young age. Racicot and her sisters experimented often in the kitchen back then. Throughout college, Racicot found herself working restaurants’ fronts of house, but being drawn to the kitchen. Eventually, while working at Savoy in New York City, she started spending her free time working with the pastry chef. Her first pastry cook job was at Gramercy Tavern, and from there she went on to work under such esteemed chefs as Alfred Portale, Marcus Samuelsson, Terrance Brennan, and now, John Fraser.
Racicot’s style is about the visual as much as it is about the taste. Her inspiration comes from such a wide variety of sources that her desserts are true works of art that come from the creative part of her mind. “Sometimes I may be flipping through books and magazines to see what people are doing, to going to a museum or an art gallery and seeing all the designs,” she says of where she finds inspiration. “It could be having a great meal at a restaurant and being inspired by a chef's food, to a walk in the park.” Racicot enjoying a glass of chartreuse turned into toasted fennel cheesecake with chartreuse-infused grapefruit. Click through our slideshow to see more of chef Racicot’s work.
The warm fruit tart is topped with goat's milk ice cream.
Racicot says of the food world, "I believe like fashion, which goes in and out of style, so does food. It is important to stay current on trends and styles and maintain that same trend."
Jane Bruce is the Photo Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @janeebruce.