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Five Boroughs Food Talk: Sugar
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.




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+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 02/24/2015 at Symphony Space.

New York City has a serious legacy of sweets, from being the birthplace of the Oreo to calling itself home to the infamous Cronut™. Host Gabriella Gershenson has assembled a sweet panel of experts to explore the sugar high past and present, and to get to know some of the masters working their sugary magic in the city today.

Panelists include:

Dominique Ansel, creator of the Cronut™

Charlotte Druckman, author of Skirt Steak

Darra Goldstein, founding Editor of Gastronomica and Editor in Chief of the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Jacques Torres, Mr. Chocolate himself

Gabriella Gershenson is the food features editor at Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine. She was formerly senior editor at Saveur, and prior to that, edited the dining section at Time Out New York magazine. Her articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe and many other publications. She's been a regular guest on WOR's Food Talk with Mike Colameco and NYC TV's Eat Out New York with Kelly Choi, and appeared on the Food Network shows 24 Hour Restaurant Battle and The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

+ About the Artists

Gabriella Gershenson is the food features editor at Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine. She was formerly senior editor at Saveur, and prior to that, edited the dining section at Time Out New York magazine. Her articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, wSan Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe and many other publications. She has been a regular guest on WOR’s Food Talk with Mike Colameco and NYC TV’s Eat Out New York with Kelly Choi, and appeared on the Food Network’s 24 Hour Restaurant Battle and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. She lives in New York City.

Dominique Ansel is the chef and owner of Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. Since its opening in November of 2011, the chef’s eponymous bakery was awarded Time Out New York’s “Best Bakery of 2012” and was Zagat’s 2013’s highest ranked bakery. In 2014, Chef Ansel was given a James Beard Award for “Outstanding Pastry Chef” in the nation as well as named one of Crain’s “40 under 40” and one of the “50 Most Influential French” by Vanity Fair France. In May of 2013, he invented the CronutTM, a croissant-doughnut hybrid that became the most virally popular pastry of its time and was named TIME Magazine’s “25 Best Inventions of 2013.” With his unstoppable creativity, The NY Post proclaimed him the “Willy Wonka of NYC”, Food & Wine called him the “culinary Van Gogh” of our times, and he was voted one of Business Insider’s Most Innovative Persons in 2013. He is the author of Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes, and will be opening up his second bakery, Dominique Ansel KITCHEN, with a unique made-to- order concept in late Spring of 2015.

Charlotte Druckman is a journalist and food writer whose work has appeared in various publications, including the Wall Street Journal; The New York Times, and Bon Appetit. She is also the author of Skirt Steak: Women Chefs on Standing the Heat & Staying in the Kitchen published in 2012. Her first cookbook, Stir, Sizzle, Bake, is due out in 2016. Bonus: She’s the proud co-founder of Food52’s Tournament of Cookbooks, and lives in New York City. P.S. She hates writing these bios.

Darra Goldstein is the Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian at Williams College and Founding Editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, named the 2012 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. She has published numerous books and articles on literature, culture, art, and cuisine, and has organized several exhibitions, including Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500-2005, at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. She is also the author of four cookbooks: A Taste of Russia, The Georgian Feast (the 1994 IACP Julia Child Cookbook of the Year),

The Winter Vegetarian, and Baking Boot Camp at the CIA. Goldstein has consulted for the Council of Europe as part of an international group exploring ways in which food can be used to promote tolerance and diversity, and under her editorship the volume Culinary Cultures of Europe: Identity, Diversity and Dialogue was published in 2005. Goldstein has also consulted for the Russian Tea Room and Firebird restaurants in New York City and served on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is currently Food Editor of Russian Life magazine and Series Editor of California Studies in Food and Culture (University of California Press). In 2013 she was named Distinguished Fellow in Food Studies at the Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto. Goldstein is Editor in Chief of the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, and her new cookbook, Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, will appear from Ten Speed Press in October.

Fondly referred to as “Mr. Chocolate,” Master Pastry Chef Jacques Torres is the authority on all things related to this confectionery delight. Through his early years as a pastry chef, Jacques developed a deep affinity and passion for chocolate. Raised in France, it is after being awarded with the prestigious M.O.F medal in 1986 that Jacques fulfilled his American dream by moving to the US in 1989. In 2000, after 10 years at Le Cirque Restaurant and 52 episodes on public television with his show Dessert Circus, Jacques opened his first chocolate factory, Jacques Torres Chocolate in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Chef Torres has won numerous awards, including the James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year, the Chefs of America Pastry Chef of the Year, and Chartreuse Pastry Chef of the Year. He is a member of the Académie Culinaire de France, and in 2003 the James Beard Foundation inducted him into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

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