A Class with Pichet Ong from P*ONG

Last Thursday was a bag of mixed emotions. It was an unseasonably humid autumn day in New York, I hadn’t slept well, I was physically not feeling great and in generally groggy spirits. Whining aside, I hauled myself over to the ICE to take this class I had registered for a while back.

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As soon as I saw Pichet Ong‘s smiling face, my mood was instantly uplifted. Pichet is such a personable man. So cute! He spoke about his background at Jean Georges, La Folie, Spice Market, etc. and how his experience in savory cooking has influenced his desserts in both flavor profiles (his desserts often play with salty/sweet flavor combinations such as the apple hand pie with bacon caramel) and his creative development process. He uses more of an instinctual approach, spontaneously creating, tasting, then revisiting the creation a second time to record the measurements used for any given dessert. Pichet regarded this instinctual approach in admittedly generalized terms as a vaguely “Asian” approach. I found this interesting and personally inspiring as I’ve come to regard baking as less and less of an exact science based on precise measurements and timing and learning to hone my instincts instead.

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Apple Hand Pie with Bacon Caramel (my handpie chosen for plating demo!)

The class was divided in two. As much as the Apple Hand Pie with Bacon Caramel intrigued me, I’m actually allergic to bacon (or rather, the nitrates) so I quickly opted to join the Stilton Souffle, Walnut, Basil and Arugula Ice Cream group. At least we all got to shape a few hand pies. This cheese souffle (picture below) was quite savory, counter-balanced by the light, cool arugula ice cream.

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Perhaps my favorite dessert of the class (and also the least savory) was the Carrot and Salted Caramel Cupcake, which is sold at Batch Bakery in New York. This cupcake was moist and oh so delicious.

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Another delicious item was the Chevre Cheesecake Parfait with Huckleberry, Walnut, and Maldon Salt. The base of the dessert is a walnut cookie crust, a very nice crunch that contrasted the airy parfait.

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This class was so much fun. I purchased Pichet Ong’s book The Sweet Spot and am so inspired by the exciting and unusual flavor combinations. Pichet is also working on a second book, though I’ll be “digesting” the knowledge I’ve acquired from this class for a while…

9 Responses to “A Class with Pichet Ong from P*ONG”

  1. clumbsycookie Says:

    Fun fun fun! This must have been a blast, I would love to be in a class with him!

  2. Dragon Says:

    I can see why you are such a big fan. These desserts look amazing!

  3. Manggy Says:

    Well, I’m glad you were able to drag yourself out of bed– otherwise, we’d be missing your report THE Asian pastry genius 🙂 Thanks so much for this!
    I dunno about the arugula ice cream (I have problems with regular arugula as it is, but the cupcake and parfait do look sublime).

  4. Helena Says:

    Hej, Janet, thank you for your comment on my blog! I am actually very glad that at least one person thinks the cookies were elegant! 😉

    I am writing because I became so speechless to see Pichet here. For my husband’s birthday this past weekend, I made Pichet’s Malted Chocolate Layer Cake. It was heavenly! I followed his recipe exactly but reduced the salt for the cake by half. I wish I could meet him in person because I have been struggling with the Yuzu Jelly Roll. The cake is truly moist and light but I am looking for a substitute for the jelly. (Picky, picky me!)

    I am quite new to food blogging & certainly have not gone through every blog in this sphere! But I am glad that you dropped by so I get to know about you and your blog! 🙂

  5. Lisa Says:

    WOW, what a treat to take a class with Pichet Ong! I was hoping to register for that myself, but didn’t think I’d have a shot of getting in by the time I did.

    Regardless, it looked like a blast, and as usual, your amazing talent and photography shines through 🙂

  6. prettytastycakes Says:

    clumbsycookie – yeah, Pichet was one of more fun and lively chefs I’ve had the opportunity to take a class with.

    Dragon – thanks!

    Manggy – I actually liked the arugula ice cream more than the souffle, but then again, I do like arugula.

    Helena – that’s wild that you just made Pichet’s cake. I just looked up the recipe and it looks to die for! I wonder if you could just email Pichet your question through his website?

    Lisa – thanks for the comment. Hope you feel better!

  7. Helena Says:

    Actually I never thought of that before, Janet! Thank you for your brilliant idea to email the question to him. I shall do that when I have gathered up my guts (not literally, of course). Although he does look like a very amiable person to approach.

    ps. Oh yes, the cake is superb!

  8. Handmade cakes Says:

    Nice pot i like it, Keep it up

  9. Li Says:

    the salted caramel frosting looks really delicious