Candied Confections From The Heart

Updated: Jun 30 2002, 05:30am hrs
It's a wise man that knows his limitations. And no one could accuse Chef Bruno Cerdan of being a fool. Which is probably why, on learning that his old-time friend, Gerard de Tomasi, a two-star Michelin pastry chef, was in town on holiday, Chef Cerdan promptly pulled him out of vacation mode and put him to work. On training the pastry chefs at the Imperial, which is Chef Cerdans current obsession. Well, the training session is almost at an end, and the results were there last week, for all to see. And admire. And indulge in.

For, what Dali is to art, Mr de Tomasi is to the art of pastry making. His crystal clear sugar confections would fool you into believing they were real crystal. The flowers he did for the Imperial do had some guests touching them gingerly to check if they were real.

And they tasted just as good, too. The Coffee Chocolate (with black chocolate) was an assault on my tastebuds, but I could weary of its richness. More to my taste was the Lemon Meringue, which was tart and refreshing after the cloying sweetness of all that chocolate.

Mr de Tomasi is definitely an artist, but I found myself more appreciative of his talents taste-wise. So while everyone around me was exclaiming over the chocolate patisserie and sculptures, I found myself drawn to the fruit based confections. And I was not deceived. The Passion Fruit Mousse sprang a medley of tastes in my mouth. And the Rum Baba was exquisitely moist with rum. The Tarte Tatin was pleasing, too.

The Coffee Opera stood out among the chocolate fare. The Three Colour Chocolate, the Chocolate Almond Cake, the Mille Feuille with Chocolate and Vanilla, the Coffee Tart, the Almond Biscuit with Chocolate Mousse and Vanilla and the Marble Cake all paled beside it.

I would have liked to try the Lemon And Coconut Cake and the Apple Cake as well, but alas, theres only so much that even I can eat!

Mr de Tomasi goes back soon to Cannes, but dont worry, the Imperial will be offering his wonderful cakes and pastries at its buffet spreads and on its dessert menus. Check it out!