accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Eric Wolitzky, new pastry chef at Cakes & Ale

courtesy of Cakes & Ale and Green Olive Media

courtesy of Cakes & Ale and Green Olive Media

Score one for Atlanta pastry. Eric Wolitzky, widely known for his appearance on the first season of “Top Chef Just Desserts,” recently joined the team at Cakes & Ale as its new pastry chef.

Wolitzky, a New York native, grew up in a family of bakers. His grandfather and other extended family members were at the tail end of their baking careers as he was growing up. Wolitzky learned techniques from them and worked in bakeries off and on as a teen. Then, he abandoned baking for higher education, earning his Masters in cultural studies from NYU.

Of his pastry background, Wolitzky says he “ignored it for a while.” Eventually, he realized his calling and attended the French Culinary Institute. He then worked at Baked in Brooklyn, where he focused on what he calls “comfort desserts” and presented a modern take on classic American desserts.

On “Top Chef Just Desserts,” Wolitzky earned repeated praise from judges Gail Simmons and Johnny Iuzzini for his bold and satisfying flavors. He calls the cooking show experience a “life changer,” saying, “I realized what I could do. I realized that I’m a baker at heart and a pastry chef, as well.”

Wolitzky calls his new post at Cakes & Ale “the best of both worlds” because it allows him the opportunity to create plated desserts for the restaurant and an array of baked items for the bakery. He says, “everything got bigger and bolder. It’s all about flavor.”

Under Wolitzky’s direction, you’ll find items like his signature chocolate chip cookies with a hint of citrus, mandarin orange creamsicle cake and a pineapple upside down cake served with an ice cream made of cherries, brandy, orange and cinnamon.

Wolitzky’s recipes have been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, O Magazine and Daily Candy.  He has shared his creations at the New York Chocolate Show, Martha Stewart’s Milk and Cookies, Food Network Food and Wine’s Sweet, Village Voice’s Choice Sweets, Disney Food and Wine Festival, the James Beard House, Bon Appetit Supper Club, American Cancer Society Eat Drink and Be Hopeful and the Food Network NYC Burger Bash.

Atlanta’s pastry scene just keeps getting sweeter and sweeter.

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

7 comments Add your comment

Rodney

April 4th, 2012
1:05 pm

Cammi317

April 5th, 2012
9:57 am

That place is a 2 minute walk from my office. I must stop in and try his creations!

Krystle Meyer

April 5th, 2012
1:12 pm

knock knock.
who’s there?
orange.
orange who?
orange you glad I didn’t put myself in every one of your deserts? Oh wait yes i did

Sophie

April 5th, 2012
11:15 pm

HA! Yeah, Krystle – don’t know if I’d like his stuff if orange is in EVERYTHING. Including “signature” chocolate chip cookies. Hard to imagine this guy has any creativity if a chocolate chip cookie is his signature dish. Still, I wish him well. I thought he was kind of creepy on TCJD though.

Jenny Turknett

April 6th, 2012
6:48 am

In Eric’s defense, he described several dishes to me and those are the ones I chose to include. So, maybe I’m the one who really likes orange! ;)

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]