In 2003, Richard Capizzi became the first pastry chef (not to mention the youngest) to ever sweep the awards at the U.S. Pastry Competition. From there, he honed his skills at the heart of Thomas Keller’s Restaurant Group, rising from a sous chef at Per Se to the executive pastry chef at both Per Se and Bouchon Bakery within a mere two years. Today, as the pastry chef for both Lincoln Ristorante and the Patina Group, Richard is known for translating the flavors of his Italian heritage into some of the country’s most inspired desserts. This summer, ICE students will have the chance to train with Richard in a one-day master class at ICE’s Center for Advanced Pastry Studies on July 27.
How do you develop your signature desserts?
I develop most of my desserts by researching traditional items from different regions throughout Europe—primarily Italy. I use pastries that I grew up with or others that I have read about or tasted during travels for inspiration. I also like to use seasonal produce and/or chocolate to create different textures of satisfaction. Generally, I try to incorporate three flavors and five textures in any dessert I do. Once I have the flavor profile, I can build a modern take on any classic dessert.
Read on to learn more about Richard's training and creative process.