After spending a year at the foot of Thomas Keller and crew at Napa's French Laundry, where he was chef de partie, Patrick Fahy — a vet of Bittersweet, the Ritz, and Canady le Chocolatier — comes back to Chicago as the new head of pastry at Blackbird. (Fahy replaces Tim Dahl, whose move to Wisconsin we noted recently). "I think it's going to take me a little time to get used to all the changes," Fahy told Grub Street, pointing out that this is his first time heading up a pastry department. Still, he seems off to a strong start:
"I think of something that's in season, something that I really like," he explained when we asked about how he develops his dishes. "And then I think of different textures — softness, creaminess, something crunchy, something cold, something warm, something sweet, salty, acidic. I try to really have all of those on each dessert, if possible." On the current dessert menu, Fahy's particularly fond of his sweet corn bavaroise. It's a cornbread pain perdu dressed with candied pecans, maple syrup sherbet, and a drizzle of Bliss maple syrup, which has been aged in bourbon barrels. And it's all up from here: "As I get more used to things," Fahy said, "it'll get better and better."