What a better way to start your Saturday than with fresh baked tarts. And even more fun to learn how to prepare them from scratch with a group of friends. Working along with Pastry Chef T’ai Chopping, the group learned how to prepare three types of French crusts:

Pâte brisee the French version of classic pie or tart pastry
Pâte sucrée a sweet, crumbly dough that gives tarts a sturdy, tender base for custards, creams, and fruits
Pâte sablee a crumbly, sandy crust (or cookie)used to make sweet flans and tarts

About the Chef

T’ai Chopping was born in Great Britain where the tradition of “ High Tea “ has inspired many a pastry maven. From an early age she could be found picking wild blackberries for scones and puddings.

Starting at age of sixteen, T’ai working in restaurants before going to culinary school at Johnson Wales University. While pastry remained a focus, she also mastered bread making and hand made pasta, as well as working the line. In 1998 New York called and she landed at the iconic Lespinasse working for Gray Kunz, Christopher Broberg and Christian Delouvrier. In 2000 Chef Delouvrier arranged for T’ai to move to France to work for Master Chef Renee Berard in La Cadiere, Provence.

Upon returning to the U.S., Chef T’ai started as Pastry Chef at Melisse in Santa Monica, CA, and in 2005, as Executive Pastry Chef, T’ai moved back to New York for the opening of Del Posto. Next, T’ai consulted with The Stephen Starr Restaurant Group in opening the W Hotel and Steak 954 in Florida. Within 1 month of opening, Steak 954 was dubbed as having “the best sweets in Florida”. Chef T’ai has relocated once again to our very own Hudson, NY as Pastry Chef at Swoon Kitchenbar.

In addition to her work in kitchens around the globe, Chef T’ai has taught a new generation of pastry chefs at the French Culinary Institute (now ICC).

© Valley Variety 2019