Jessica Sullivan’s Gravenstein apple custard cake with pink pearl apple sherbet and bavarian buttermilk ice cream
Originally from Minnesota, Jessica moved to Montana to go to college. While studying tree biology she paid the bills baking at various Mom and Pop style restaurants. After graduation she moved further west to Portland and found a job bartending but went in early to make bread. After several years working as a pastry chef at small restaurants in Portland she nixed her original plan to become a Life Flight Forest Ranger. She realized the kitchen was where she truly belonged. Jessica enrolled in the California Culinary Academy and moved to San Francisco. Lucky for us.
Jessica is pastry chef at both Boulevard and Prospect. She splits her time between the two and is happy they are nearby. It makes for an easy commute between the two when issues come up. This week at Boulevard I spent some time chatting with Jessica about desserts.
EL: What flavors/ingredients do you like best?
JS: Summer flavors at the market. I’m originally from Minnesota. When I first moved here I couldn’t believe all the produce. I still am impressed. All the different berries- Boysenberries, Tayberries, Black Raspberries.
EL: What flavors/ingredients do you like least?
JS: Nothing really.
EL: What dessert or flavors first come to mind when I mention the following ingredients:
Passion fruit: Semifreddo
Chocolate: Peanut butter- Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Marquise
Coffee: Cold Infusion (so cream stays white) Date Cake with cold coffee coconut ganache
Almonds: Dark Chocolate
EL: What dessert has someone else created that you loved?
JS: Last week I ate at Rich Table. I had a delicious panna cotta with stone fruits and toasted almond crumble. It was perfect.
EL: Who has influenced your dessert style?
JS: Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers from The River Café in London. Their style is rustic but perfect. I build off of it. Claudia Fleming, Emily Luchetti.
EL: What ingredient would you like to see used more in the pastry kitchen or appreciated by diners?
JS: Cheeses in desserts. Figs. The figs are in the market now. They are so beautiful but they’re a hard sell.
EL: What kitchen tool would you be lost without?
JS: Julie- my right and left hand.
EL: What’s your least favorite pastry trend?
Torn Cake. Liquid nitrogen.
EL: Where do you like to eat out in the city?
JS: Zuni, Flour & Water, Bar Tartine
EL: What was the last thing you made outside of work?
JS: Dinner- grilled Branzino and veggie succotash.
EL: What’s a typical breakfast?
Yogurt or a Vita Prep smoothie of green veggies. Sometimes just coffee.
EL: What do people not know about you that you wish they did?
I have a private pilot’s license.