Andrés Lara, Cacao Barry Regional Chef Asia Pacific
Andres Lara. Photo: courtesy of Andres Lara.
An extreme sensitivity and openness, a beautiful mind, creativity and hard work characterise Andres Lara, the talented chef who is now the Cacao Barry regional Chef Asia Pacific. He gained many important experiences before starting to work for Cacao Barry. He learned from many important pastry chefs (Jacquy Pfeiffer, Paco Torreblanca and Albert Adrià, to name a few) and his work experience ranges from Chicago’s Park Hyatt Hotel to elBulli, Noma, and beyond. One of his important experiences was also long collaboration with Jason Atherton – he was the group pastry chef – which allowed him to take the first steps into the Asian continent.
How would you present yourself?
I would say I am both introverted at times and extroverted at others. I love my silence and I love my peace. I need these moments of tranquility for reflect, to appreciate my surroundings and what I have, and also to be creative. The extroverted part comes when I get to share my work, my passion and my craft with others.
What does chocolate mean for you?
Chocolate is nurture. it’s an elixir… It’s both healthy and blissful (in moderation of course). It’s one of mother Earth’s gifts to us… it’s precious…
Photo: courtesy of Andres Lara
Why have you chosen this dessert/dish? What is in your opinion so special about it?
Because it embodies my beliefs when it comes to creating… It’ exudes simplicity, which is often mistaken for Simple… Simplicity is not simple! It’s a dish of green apple, Cacao Barry Zephyr white chocolate, and wasabi…(sour, acidic, salty, sweet, and spicy aroma) all the profiles that should be in a gastronomic dish. IT permeates of beauty and femininity … it’s created out of love.
Tell us please about the flavours, temperatures and textures that describe this dessert.
A crispy and salty cheescake crumble, sweet whipped Cacao Barry Zephyr ganache, sour green apple sorbet, aromatic and spicy fresh wasabi. creamy, crunchy, refreshing, and satiating.
What has inspired you to create it? How was it born?
I tasted a dish when I was 18 years old at a restaurant in NY. I will never forget it. It was a green apple wasabi sorbet with mackerel tartar… The chef was a genius. I knew one day when I had the skills, I would recreate that savory dish into a dessert.
Does it require any special technique?
Discipline and a well traveled flavour library in your head!
What was the special challenge with it?
To season it correctly… It’s a dish that needs to be treated like a chef treats a piece of meat or fish… Tasted and seasoned to the last minute before it goes out to the client.
Any final message for our readers?
A quote I love….
“Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well, and yet everything happens only a certain number of times . How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood that is so deeply a part of your being you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps, twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.” -Sheltering sky-
Andres Lara. Photo: courtesy of Andres Lara