Tree Talk: Getting to Know PreGel AMERICA’s 5-Star Pastry Ambassador Program

In 2011, PreGel AMERICA hosted four 5-Star Pastry Ambassador demonstrations in select cities including:

• New York, NY, featuring Ron Paprocki, executive pastry chef of Gordon Ramsey at The London, and Jerome Landrieu, director of the Chicago Chocolate Academy
• San Francisco, CA, featuring Michael Gillet, executive pastry chef of Valley View Casino
• Washington, D.C., featuring Laurent Branlard, executive pastry chef of The Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort
• Seattle, WA, featuring Michael Gillet and Frederic Monti, corporate pastry chef for PreGel AMERICA.

This year Views from the Tree will spend some time with PreGel AMERICA’s 5-Star Pastry Ambassadors. PreGel AMERICA’s Ambassadors are seasoned professionals, hand-picked by PreGel and represent the up-and-coming generation of renowned pastry chefs in the United States. Holding true to PreGel’s passion for education, the 5-Star Pastry Ambassador Program provides complimentary regional education events for the skilled enthusiastic pastry professionals who seek opportunities to expand their skills, techniques, network and repertoire of recipes. This inaugural column will provide a quick recap of the 2011 5-Star Ambassador events, a recipe and introduce the 2012 5-Star Ambassadors with a sneak peak of what’s ahead. Subsequent issues will feature a recipe, highlights from the demos and insights from the Ambassadors.

Each demonstration brought together over 50 chefs to watch and share new techniques and perceptions. The Ambassadors provided innovative recipes for use in various settings of banquet, restaurant, patisserie and chocolate. During the demonstrations, ingredients and recipe components were passed around for the audience to see, touch, smell and taste. Smaller versions of each completed dessert were also passed out for the audience to enjoy.

Chef Paprocki’s lime white chocolate ganache, coconut foam, mango/Thai basil sorbet verrine, Chef Landrieu’s Bullee de Fraise (sable, strawberry sorbet, white chocolate lemon ganache, frozen lemon marshmallow and lemon meringue) and Chef Branlard’s vanilla poached grapefruit, hazelnut air cake and champagne sorbet plated dessert impressed all palate preferences and set the precedent for the craft of pastry arts to continue to advance. For a deeper look at the Ambassadors’ delectable recipe creations and recaps of our 2011 demonstrations, please visit

Looking ahead to 2012, PreGel AMERICA plans to increase its program presence with more ambassadors and demonstrations in more cities throughout the United States, including New York, Miami, Phoenix, Houston and Los Angeles. The 5-Star Pastry Ambassador Program is pleased to welcome our 2012 Ambassadors: New York-based Michael Laiskonis, former executive pastry chef of Le Bernardin, known for his inventive, artistic, but “not unduly fanciful” desserts; and Los Angeles-based Chef Ramon Perez, the 2011 winner of the esteemed NYC Star Chefs International Pastry Competition. They will join Jerome Landrieu, Ron Paparocki, Michael Gillet, Frederic Monti and Laurent Branlard, who will continue as 2012 Ambassadors. Stay tuned to see what the 5-Star Pastry Ambassadors are imagining for 2012 – please continue to check the 5-Star Pastry Series website for cities and dates.

Soft White Chocolate-Lime Ganache

500g17.6ozCacao Barry Blanc Satin White Couverture, 29.2%
500g17.6ozheavy cream
2 each2 eachlime zest
Method Of Preparation

  1. Combine heavy cream, salt, and lime zest in pot; bring to a boil.
  2. Pour over chocolate and stir together.

Coconut Foam

1000g35.3ozBoiron Coconut Puree
115g4.1ozstock syrup
75g2.6ozPreGel Textura (Mousse Base – Gelatin Replacement)
Method Of Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Place in foam canister and charge with two cream chargers.
  3. Store refrigerated until ready to use.

Mango Passion Dice

300g10.6ozfresh mango, diced
75g2.6oz5-Star Chef Pastry Select Passion Fruit Compound
Method Of Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Use as desired to build Verrine.

Mango Thai Basil Sorbet

750g26.5ozBoiron Mango Puree
25g0.9oz5-Star Chef Pastry Select Mango Compound
60g2.1ozThai basil, whole leaves
10g0.4ozliquid glucose
5g0.2oz5-Star Chef Pastry Select Neutro (Ice Cream Stabilizer)
2g0.1ozPreGel Vellutina (Sorbitol Paste)
Method Of Preparation

  1. Combine sugar, water, and glucose; bring to a boil; remove from heat.
  2. Add Thai basil and allow to infuse.
  3. When cool, strain; add remaining ingredients and mix well with immersion blender.
  4. Freeze in batch freezer per machine instructions.


  1. In a 2oz shot glass, layer 1cm of White Chocolate-Lime Ganache and place in refrigerator to set.
  2. Add 1cm of Mango Passion Dice.
  3. When ready to serve, add a small quenelle of Mango Thai Basil Sorbet.
  4. Top with coconut foam.
  5. Garnish with a dusting of graham cracker crumbs.