Brooks Headley is Del Posto's pastry chef in that video up there (yes, the restaurant is one of Mario Batali's greatest hits). My Boyfriend-I-Mean-Husband, Chris, became friends with Brooks because Chris is an editor guy at some rowdy magazine for 20-somethings that Brooks (formerly the drummer for Born Against) was featured in. Wow, that was a long sentence. I,however, am a baker and forged a friendship with Brooks because of his pastry background and more importantly because he said this revolutionary thing about vegetarian cooking and vegan pastry in Vice Magazine [please note there is some colorful language ahead--it's but one part of what makes Brooks so excellent, in my humble opinion!]:
"There are a lot of chefs that are anti-vegetarian. I am 1,000% pro-vegetarian. Chefs that are anti-veg are f*****g idiots. They're crybabies with a f*****g warped sense of creativity. Your walk-in is filled with beautiful fruits and vegetables. J****s C****t, make it work, dude. I'm totally stoked to send out my vegan desserts. It's not a chore."
See, that's what I'm talking about!!! This is the attitude that a lot of chefs could stand to adopt. Cooking vegetarian shouldn't be seen as a thorn in their side but an opportunity to celebrate what's left in the kitchen once you take the meat out. Brooke takes it one step further with vegan guests and creates massive works of art with his pastry that make me slightly embarrassed for how simple mine are. Only slightly, though.
Brooks emailed me yesterday to tell me he's giving his externs a challenge. He's stocked his kitchen with coconut oil, xanthan gum, gluten-free flour and the BabyCakes cookbook and told them to, "make it happen". I don't know about you but I want a boss like that.