As research for a forthcoming article in Epicure magazine (April issue/Atlanta edition), I recently sampled several desserts at Aria.
Pastry chef Kathryn King incorporates peak seasonal produce (from local sources as often as possible) into her desserts. “I’m a big fan of fruit,” she says. “You get great, intense flavor at their peak.”
Her approach to creating recipes is to “keep things simple and let the ingredients come through,” she says, adding that she enjoys working in a "methodical" way in her pastry kitchen. What she particularly enjoys about her work at Aria is that "everything can be made as freshly as possible, not far ahead of time."
Ellijay Fuji apple tart with almond ginger brown butter and caramel ice cream:
Warm lemon mascarpone cheesecake with walnut crust and vanilla cream:
Valrhona chocolate cream pie:
Upside down caramel cake with pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and malt ice cream:
King says that she strives for "balance" in her desserts, "sweet to less sweet, creamy to crispy. I try to get mix of elements, but not too many elements. The word 'balance' comes to mind--but it is easier to make stuff than talk about it!"
And once you bite into any one of her creations you'll want to enjoy it, not analyze it.
Bottom Line: Refined desserts expertly served in elegant surrounds. With its focus on seasonality and freshness, the dessert menu changes frequently, but whatever is on it is bound to be delicious.