Although many of us haven’t progressed much past the skills required to bake a cake in an Easy-Bake-Oven, a select few in this city have gone on to become dessert masters. We’re talking about Washington’s elite pastry chefs, like Brandi Edlinger, who recently became head of all things baked, chocolate and otherwise dessert-y at Todd Gray’s Equinox
"You have to work hard," she said. "My advice to aspiring chefs is to take advantages of as many opportunities as you can. Work for free if you have to!" Because at least you get paid in knowledge. "It's all about networking. I'm definitely not in this for the money," she said.
Instead, she's in it for the ideas. "I'm constantly taking note of ingredients and different flavors," she said. For example, at Equinox, she takes the flavors of an Almond Joy candy bar and transforms them into a rich and decadent, five-star dessert. Simply called the Dark Chocolate Coconut Bar, Brandi starts with a freshly baked almond shortbread, before layering on a tier of coconut sorbet and topping it with a chocolate cremeaux, which has the same base of ice cream, but features a different preparation. What will she think of next? I can't wait to find out.—MP
Photo by Emily Clack