Save Room for Dessert: Ron Paprocki of Gotham Bar and Grill
Gotham Bar and Grill has called East 12th Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village home since it first opened its doors since 1984. In the past 30 years, Gotham has become and institution. They have five three-star reviews from the New York Times (the most of any other New York restaurant) under their belt, the most recent coming in 2011 from Sam Sifton. They’ve maintained a Michelin star rating since 2005. Chef Alfred Portale and Gotham have a combined three James Beard Awards: Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Chef, and Best Chef New York.
Bringing desserts to the table at Gotham is landscape-designer-turned-chef, Ron Paprocki. After spending 10 years outlining greenery in Rochester, New York, Paprocki moved to Germany to follow his dream of working in pastry. He apprenticed and got his formal training in Kassel before moving to New York City in 2004. “The classic European desserts were dominant and that is what the customers wanted. When I came back to the States after the completion of my apprenticeship, I saw that pastry in NYC was all about interpretation, deconstruction, and flamboyance,” he says. He spent time at Financier Patisserie, Sascha, and Gordon Ramsay at The London before landing at Gotham Bar and Grill in 2012.
Gotham is known for using the freshest ingredients, as they are located just a few minutes away from the Union Square Greenmarket. Paprocki’s dessert menu is no different. Right now he’s taking advantage of the new fruits at the market — apricots, raspberries, and strawberries. “I will do very little to the fruits on a dessert to change or hide the flavor. Sometimes I will roast apricots and peaches, macerate strawberries in sugar and acid, or coat balsamic on fresh Bing cherries,” Paprocki explains. Click through our photos to see the desserts he creates for Gotham’s menu.
Paprocki says of his desserts, "My style could best be described as 'full-circle, but with a twist.'"
The apricots in this dessert come from Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood, California.
Jane Bruce is the Photo Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @janeebruce.