Have vanilla, will travel

affogatoPichet Ong has carved out a reputation as a world-class pastry chef known for combining French technique with Asian ingredients. He's written a cookbook, The Sweet Spot: Asian-Inspired Desserts, and has appeared on Top Chef. In the last several years, Ong has transitioned from holding a traditional chef position into being a jet-setting pastry consultant

Although Ong likes to incorporate local flavors into his desserts, he has a few items that he brings with him wherever he goes. One of those things is vanilla beans, which he refers to as his "secret weapon". He also frequently travels with a digital scale, some of his favorite cake rings, and a citrus zester.

So what does a pastry consultant do? It involves working out problems in consistency for a chain, developing new recipes, and making new flavors for existing products. Even though traveling to exotic locations and working with renowned chefs is exciting, there a few downsides to his new gig. "I miss going to a place that's consistent and familiar," he admits. 

Photo of Vietnamese coffee tapioca "affogato" from The Sweet Spot  by Pichet Ong and Genevieve Ko

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