bake - May/June 2024 - 41

sweet goods
Fruit Forward
Desserts
Husk Savannah is preparing for a bountiful harvest these next
few months with the help of regional purveyors, offering an array
of fresh produce for pastry chef Rebecca Elsishans' spring
and summer dessert menus. Highlighting the best of these locally
grown fruits, Elsishans' approach is all about reimagining
Southern classics by adding new layers of flavor and texture
through her use of fresh strawberries and blueberries, sourced
from Georgia-based Heritage Farm.
Elsishans is putting fun, elevated twists on dessert staples like
Biscuit Beignets. Using biscuit dough made in-house and adding
a variety of spices including cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and
black pepper, Husk's Biscuit Beignets are a sweet (and slight savory)
treat topped with rose cremé anglaise and complemented
by orange jelly.
Chef Elsishans recently shared more about her approach to
reimagining Southern classics.
bake: How did you come up with this strategy for Husk Savannah?
Chef
Elsishans: To me, this is the menu design that makes the
most sense for Husk Savannah as a Southern fine dining restaurant.
It's important to me that guests experience something
new when they dine here, and that I am paying homage to both
the restaurants, and my own Southern roots. I think a lot about
my great grandma when I create dishes. While she passed before
I was born, I've heard many stories about her baking. I feel
a deep connection to her, and I want to pass that care and tradition
onto our guests.
What are some ways in which you've accomplished this?
When I think of a dish, I usually start with an ingredient I want
to highlight and think about what classic desserts are made with
it. Last strawberry season, I took my inspiration from a classic
strawberry shortcake. But instead of just a cake with strawberries
and whipped cream, I soaked a sponge cake in fermented
honey and served it with vanilla ice cream and strawberries macerated
in honey. This is one of the dishes that I have been most
proud of creating during my time at Husk Savannah.
How have locally sourced ingredients factored into your menu?
Locally sourced ingredients are the main driver of my menu, and
of the larger menu at Husk Savannah. First, I decide which fruit I
want to use and then build a dish around that. Without our local
farmers, I wouldn't be able to build a menu the way I do. Even a
lot of the grains and flours I use are locally sourced. Spring and
summer are the best times of year for me as a chef, as I have so
many types of produce to choose from.
Are you seeing any current dessert trends in the industry?
One benefit of being a pastry chef is that dessert is supposed to
be fun. I have noticed a lot of restaurants taking their desserts in
a more whimsical direction. I think desserts can have a lot more
room for experimentation and playfulness than other parts of
the menu, and pastry chefs are taking advantage of that.
I have also seen chefs using more savory techniques in their
desserts, especially smoking, grilling and fermentation. Using
these techniques in desserts can help to take them out of their
usual box.
bakemag.com | MAY-JUN 2024 > 41
HUSK SAVANNAH
http://www.bakemag.com

bake - May/June 2024

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bake - May/June 2024 - Intro
bake - May/June 2024 - 1
bake - May/June 2024 - 2
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