The 3-minute interview: Elizabeth Falkner

The celebrity chef has her hands full as owner of San Francisco restaurants Citizen Cake, Citizen Cupcake and Orson, and as author of the newly published “Demolition Desserts: Recipes from Citizen Cake.” But Falkner isn’t too busy for a holiday project — today from noon to 4 p.m., she’ll wow crowds at the Exploratorium by creating an antarctic dreamscape made entirely of dessert ingredients.

What’s an antarctic dreamscape anyway? It’s pretty cool. This is not a gingerbready, Christmasy scene. It’s not a set for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. We’re going to have glaciers and ice, all made out of sugary stuff. There’s going to be a body of water made out of agar. There’s a South Pole and we’re going to have marzipan seals and penguins and we’re even going to recreate the research center out there.

Do you think of cooking as art? Definitely. I like to take something familiar, like carrot cake, but remodel it for today. In the book I have a carrot cake dessert but with a fromage blanc ball in the center with walnuts. I put in shaved Asian pear, a sesame vinaigrette and cake-tons.

Cake-tons? I make carrot cake, but cut it into crouton cubes and call it cake-tons.

Judging by your creations, you seem to have a good handle on architecture. A lot of our cake making becomes very architectural. I’m not happy serving a sheet cake. I don’t care what you put on top of it. I cut it up and angle it so it looks very architectural, Very Frank Gehry-ish. That’s just understanding weight and proportion.

Do you have any advice for bakers who may need a dose of confidence? Baking is fun. Sure, there’s some science in it, but basically you just have to get your hands in it and have a good time.

businessLocalScience & TechnologyScience and Technology

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SF speeds up testing for first responders as Sheriff’s Department is hit by coronavirus

Miyamoto rolls out daily temperature checks at jails, hospitals and courthouses

‘Outbreak’ expected at Laguna Honda Hospital after seven test positive for virus

The day after the first patient at Laguna Honda Hospital tested positive… Continue reading

Gov. Newsom orders statewide ban on evictions for renters affected by coronavirus

The measure prevents the evictions of renters over the nonpayment of rent through May 31

San Francisco 911 dispatcher tests positive for coronavirus

Union seeks additional testing for Call Center workers

Breed urges residents to ‘stay home’ as coronavirus cases reach 279

Multiple parking lots closed to discourage prohibited gatherings at beaches, parks

Most Read