KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
Originally from Medellín, Colombia, Parallel 37’s Executive Pastry Chef Andrea Correa, 30, says that pastry has always warmed her heart. Although she has worked in nearly every possible role in kitchens all over the world, including Michelinstar restaurants El Bulli in Spain and Noma in Denmark, theclassically trained chef’s original passion arose as a child looking at photos and cookbooks about desserts.
After graduating high school in Colombia, Correa moved to Atlanta, Georgia, to live with her uncle and study hospitality at Georgia State University. While in school, Correa got a job as a server in a local Italian restaurant, but couldn’t help but be drawn toward the kitchen. One of the chefs agreed to train heron her breaks, and she hasn’t left the kitchen since. After graduating from Georgia State, Correa attended The FrenchPastry School in Chicago, Ill., where she received formaltraining in classic pastry. After graduation, Correa decided to leave the U.S. and traveled to Europe, where she found herself immersed in the kitchen at Noma, a two star Michelin restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark, that was named “Best Restaurant in the World” by Restaurant magazine in 2010, 2011 and 2012. It was here that she met her mentor, the Chef and Owner of Noma, Rene Redzepi. Famous for foraging his own herbs and vegetables, Redzepi taught Correa about sourcing hyper-local and seasonal foods and to have the utmost respect for the ingredients she uses. After a life-changing year at Noma, she moved back to the United States in 2010 to work at Charlie Trotter’s eponymous kitchen in Chicago where she met Michael Rotondo, now Chef de Cuisine at Parallel 37. It was here, in the kitchen at Charlie Trotter’s, where she also met Matthias Merges, who was the Executive Chef at the time, and who eventually brought Correa with him when he opened his own restaurant in Chicago called Yusho in 2011.
Before she helped Merges open Yusho, Correa had the chance to travel to Spain and work under another world famous chef,Ferran Adrià at three star Michelin restaurant El Bulli. In hersix months at El Bulli as the Assistant Creative Chef, Correa learned to look at ingredients from a different perspective, and to indulge her creative side. She then traveled to Singapore to experience the amazing seafood and precise culinary techniques of Asia as Demi Chef de Partie at Iggy’s, which was named the “Best Restaurant in Asia” by the Miele Guide three times. After Correa spent eight months working with the most “mind-blowing seafood and produce” she had ever seen, she once again returned to Chicago in 2011 to aid in openingYusho as Merges’ Sous Chef. Named one of the Best New Restaurants in 2012 by Chicago Magazine, Chef Merges taught Correa how to be a great manager and leader and how to run a kitchen with humility and finesse. However Correa couldn’t help but dream about getting back into pastry, and when she got a call from Chef Michael Rotondo at Parallel 37asking her to come out to California, she couldn’t pass it up.Now living and working in San Francisco, Correa is very happy with her decision. “The abundance and availability offresh produce here is amazing, even in winter – it’s a little like being home in Colombia.” In her free time Andrea enjoys practicing yoga but is also perfectly content drinking coffee and reading all day.
Chef Andrea and I had a pretty sweet chat. We talked about her upcoming “Desserts for Dinner” fundraiser and discussed her culinary journey that has taken her to kitchens around the world.
(credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)
Manjari Chocolate Cremeux
By Andrea Correa, Pastry Chef at Parallel 37
6 cups milk
6 cups cream
2 cups sugar
30 ounces dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces (70% dark chocolate preferred. This can also be described as bitter chocolate by some manufactures)
1/2 envelop of powder gelatin
2 large egg yolks
Julienned mint sprigs
Mint ice cream (I like Three Twins; they have a great mint chocolate chip ice cream.)
Prepare the anglaise by first combining the milk, cream and ¼ sugar in a large pot and heat until it comes to a simmer. Turn off the heat.
Mix the egg yolks with the remaining sugar and whisk thoroughly. Add 1/2 of the warm milk cream mixture, whisking as the liquid is added to prevent cooking the eggs.
Meanwhile, bloom the gelatin sheets. (Bloom according to the manufactures instructions).
Add the bloomed gelatin to the anglaise. Strain directly over the chocolate, mix with a whisk or a hand blender if possible to have an extra smooth texture. Pour into any flexi-mold that can hold 3-4 ounces per mold. Freeze it overnight or for at least eight hours. Unmold and refrigerate for 2 hours or set it at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Cocoa Nib Crumble
4 tbsp. butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup cake flour (sifted)
1/2 tsp. powder cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
Mix all of the ingredients expect the cocoa nibs in a large bowl until small crumbles start to form. Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. Bake at 325° for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool and add the cocoa nibs last.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
Zest of 1/2 lemon
2 cups huckleberries, rinsed
Bring water and sugar to a boil, add huckleberries, and lemon zest. Simmer for five minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool at room temperature in its own liquid.
Place a cremeux on a plate and add warm huckleberries around it. Top with a small scoop of ice cream and the cocoa nib crumble. Finish with freshly chopped mint.