5 Questions for Jamie Cantor
Jamie Cantor is the pastry-chef-owner of Platine in Culver City, where she bakes chocolate galore cookies, caramel-topped brownies, Alsatian tarts with brown butter almond filling, lemon pudding cakes ... well, you get the picture.
What's coming next on your menu? We'll start transitioning from our spring to our summer menu at the end of this month. I am really excited for all the summer fruit –- cherries, berries, peaches, etc. We'll have lots of farmers market fruit crisps, tarts and hand pies. Summer always brings back memories of childhood, so our banana pudding is really popular, too. We infuse the pudding with real bananas and then layer it with more fresh bananas and house-made "Nilla Wafers" and then we finish it off with some banana slices that are caramelized to order.
Latest ingredient obsession? Right now it is rhubarb.... I love to use it for the short time that it is available. I go to the farmers market to get it and only a few farmers grow rhubarb. We are using it now in hand pies, strawberry rhubarb crisps and rhubarb Alsatian tarts with a brown butter almond filling.
What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? We live in Venice, and we try to stay within our neighborhood and walk as much as possible. We have been going to Piccolo in Venice since it opened, and I really love their style, service and food. They used to have this amazing pasta with a wild boar ragu that has been off the menu for many years. Now I really like their squid ink garganelli.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can't live without? Definitely my tiny offset spatulas. I use them for everything. I worked at the French Laundry and that is where I became addicted to using them. In the classical kitchen most tools have a French name that you use so that people know exactly what you are talking about when you ask for something from across the room. Since we were always using them and didn't have a real quick way to refer to them, the guys started calling them "cupcakier" –- or cupcake spatula, since they were just the right size for frosting a cupcake. That name has always stuck in my head. We don't actually use them for cupcakes, since we don't really subscribe to that trend, but we use them for a million other different jobs in the kitchen.
What's your favorite breakfast? In the real world, it is a breakfast sandwich -– really good bread with fresh tomato slices, thick-sliced bacon and poached eggs. In my fantasy world, where I can exist off of sugar, it is a hot fudge brownie sundae.
Platine Cookies, 10850 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 559-9933, www.platinecookies.com.
Photo credit: Platine Cookies