Moussaka pizza

One of my favorite dishes from Greece is moussaka. It’s basically layers of ground meat, typically lamb, sometimes beef, stewed in this tomato sauce with eggplant, potatoes, and a creamy béchamel on top of that is broiled until golden brown. With the exception of the potato, honestly, all of those things could be incorporated into…

Rainbow of illusion: a mirror glaze cake

So the name of this dessert stemmed from the lyrics of a harmonicblend song, “Auf Wiedersehen”. When I was trying to conceptualize this dessert, I wanted to make something that can be made into a rainbow, and I wouldn’t necessarily say deconstruct it, but rather, emphasize aspects of the rainbow that I wanted to. When…

All Right: a plated olive oil cake

This dessert was inspired by three things. The fennel pollen-olive oil cake that Kristen Kish never got to serve in her finale for Top Chef, Northern Californian olive oil my friend David gifted to me that has pleasant and fragrant grassy notes, and finally the song All Right by Koda Kumi, which ties in with…

“Welcome to the lantern festival!”: a plated dish

This dish was definitely my favorite to make when I was in the competition. Not only did I get to impress the judges(and finally claim some much needed emotional redemption!), but also Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto as well! And with a freaking $500 Alaskan King Crab! Like what the hell?! Even to this day, I…

Italian Lemon Meringue Doughnut Creams

I just wanted to create a new flavor combination using some of my favorite ingredients. That’s how this concept came about. I love lemon and olive oil together, and herbs just perfume that. Olive oil desserts are so underrated, but I adore the rich, rustic quality that they have. For this doughnut cream, I prepared…

Tale of two princes: a plated concept

This dessert is a literal translation of who I am. It features two princes in the form of desserts, being the Prince of the Sky, and the Prince of the Snow. The Prince of the Sky represents my hometown of Palos Verdes, where wild fennel and peacocks foam; fennel is featured in four applications in…

Lapis Lazuli fruit tart

The inspiration behind this fruit tart came from the lapis lazuli gemstone. It is a naturally blue mineral studded with gold and white streaks. I wanted to also make this dessert an homage to my hometown of Palos Verdes, where wild fennel grows, and that’s where the inspiration to use fennel pollen came from. I…