Watch live from the Wolfgang Puck Catering Kitchen in Hollywood to celebrate the summer season with Chef Eric who will prepare Wolfgang Puck’s signature Truffle chicken pot pie and Pastry Chef Garry who will prepare Molten Lava Cake
Read below for a full transcript of the conversation.
Suzie Shqair - Good afternoon. Good evening everyone. My name is Suzie Shqair, Senior Event Manager at First Republic Bank. Welcome to our Taste of Summer cooking demo. Before we start, a quick, housekeeping note. You are welcome to submit questions during the demo. To submit a question, please utilize the Q&A icon at the bottom of your screen. We will try to answer all of your questions live during the demo. This demo is being recorded and at playback will be available on our website at a later time. After the cooking demo is over, we will be holding a random drawing and six winners will receive a $500 gift certificate to one of Chef Wolfgang Puck's restaurants. In addition, 10 lucky winners will receive a choice between a Wolfgang Puck eight piece stainless steel mixing bowls or a personalized copy of "Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy" cookbook. You must be present at today's webinar to be entered into the drawing. Winners will be contacted by our team tomorrow. And now let me turn over to my colleague, Volker Ulrich, Vice President of Facilities and Administrative Services, who will introduce our guest chefs today.
Volker Ulrich - Hello, good afternoon, and good evening. Thank you for joining us today for our second Taste of Summer cooking series. We are so excited and thankful to have Chef Eric Klein and executive pastry chef Gary Larduinat of Wolfgang Puck Catering Company as our guest chefs today. First Republic Bank values our long standing business relationship with the company. We are coming live to you from the Wolfgang Puck catering kitchen in Hollywood, California. The culinary delights for some of the most coveted movie industry events are being created right here. Chef Eric Klein is vice president and the culinary leader for Wolfgang Puck Catering. For over 30 years he has led an extensive career spanning from France to the United States. Much of it has been spent working alongside Chef Wolfgang Puck, holding different positions throughout his organization. He has also led his own business enterprises, such as Maple Drive, which has earned three stars from the Los Angeles Times. Chef Eric has received multiple accolades, including being named one of the top 10 best chefs in America by Food & Wine Magazine. Chef Gary Larduinat is the regional executive pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck Catering. He began his career at age 14 as an apprentice at a Michelin two starred restaurant in France. Since moving from France, he was the executive pastry chef at Francois Payard Bakery, and the Hotel Bel-Air with the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group. Today, he's one of the best pastry chefs in America with over 224,000 followers on Instagram. Take it from here, and I see you’re Mise en place already. Good luck. Thank you.
Chef Eric Klein - Thank you, Mr. Volker. Thank you so much.
Volker - Thank you.
Eric - First, I want to say thank you Gary for being here. Thank you all of you guys to be here. We're excited. You have no idea how much it means to us to not only cook for someone, cooking virtually something new we're trying, you know, but I think it's fascinating to share food, inspiration, memories, and that something, something which is so important. I cannot say how important that is for us, constantly cooking and being happy. So I think we're excited. Chef Gary's going to make some wonderful dessert. I'm going to make a signature dish from the Governors Ball for the Oscars. So we're excited. So you guys can share that with us and also you can replicate that at your home. And we're looking forward to do all this wonderful things step by step with you guys so we can see. Like chef Mr. Volker said, we have some mise en place. Mise en place is a fancy term in French to have like all the ingredients ready. So you can see right here, we have basically created for the pot pie, you can see every single item. We have the containers, the stock, the chicken, all the vegetables, I've prepared all the ingredients. And of course what we need to make the preparation for you flawless. And I think Chef Gary did the same thing, so-
Gary Larduinat - Yup. I have everything ready.
Eric - So chef Gary, how are we going to go? We're going to start with sweet and then go over to savory a little bit. And then we do a little bit of both?
Gary - I think you can start if you want.
Eric - Okay.
Gary - Because I know at the end we want to have both items like baked and finalized, right? So we should start maybe with you. And then I could take over with pastry and while it's baking, maybe we'll do some Q&A or?
Eric - Absolutely, fantastic. So what I'm going to do first, Chef Gary, thank you so much. We have very few details. We'll send the recipe to you guys. There's not a bad question. If you have any question, you're not sure what can you use or anything, so you let us know, okay? So to start right now, we're going to do the chicken pot pie. Actually we'd like some truffles in there. I'm going do one of the classic French culinary... So that means I'm going to need chicken stock. We're going to need a little butter, a little flour, and we're going to make a roux. And on the side, we're going to make a roux blanc, it's basically what we call it. The flour is not toasted. And we're going to start doing that. So, through the years and techniques we evolved techniques. I've worked in that catering kitchen definitely for the Academy Award, for the Oscar Award, or anything special, that dish. We changed techniques already because we want to make sure we do things not too much ahead because we never want to lose the intensity of the flavor or anything prepared. So on that point, I know in a classic roux, in a classic velouté, technically either the stock is hot, the roux is cold. What we are going to do on that, we're going to diverse that a little bit, this is a new style of technique. Like you always know, cooking and the same thing in banking or anything like that, everything evolves constantly to make sure we have fantastic technique. So I'm going to place my chicken stock inside in the pot and we're going to bring it to boil. Okay? And in the meantime, and on a container, I'm going to take my portion butter, and I'm going to start melting it to create a roux. We'll take a little plastic spatula, to remove it out of the container, to make sure I don't leave anything not missed. The vessel of the tools we're going to use to make the roux is very simple. A small little whisk. Chef Gary decided to take the big one today, so I take the small one. Doesn't matter what you have, it's how you do it. But again, tools are very important in the kitchen. Like we always know with the right tools, you're going to have the right job. Same thing for you, same thing for everyone. Where you think any right job can do the right job. But for me, I just need to mix it a little bit and it's a very small quantity. So it's perfect. We'll turn that up.
Gary - Yup.
Eric - Okay, turn it up more. Perfect and perfect. So the one thing also we've done in the meantime that comes to boil and the butter, you can hear it start speaking to me. It's making little bubbles. On the mise en place we have the chicken. Now you're going to ask me, "Eric how did you do the chicken?" Well, I take a raw chicken basically, put him in a broth with carrots, onions, steadily cooked it together. All the chicken is cooked before everything is in place. And you can see, I basically have prepared the chicken, removed it from the carcass and I have the recipe, follow what you need. If we don't have a cooked chicken, you always can go and use the rotisserie chicken you have, your favorite chicken of that sort, to use that. If you don't have chicken stock in home, you always can buy chicken stock. Make sure it's always in season. Buy the natural, the most perfect way to do chicken stock. My stock is getting warm, my butter is talking to me, bubbling. I don't want any color, I don't want brown. But if you want to add some more flavor, you can get it darker, it's up to you. Whatever you want. Over here, I have measured already flour, where I'm going to put basically inside to my butter, melting. And I'm going to mix everything together. We're here to create a nice... Well, here you can see. Right here. You can see right here on the other window. You guys see it? Yep. Okay, fine here. I have to be careful with Gary over here. He always eats all my mise en place.
Gary - I do.
Eric - But I did the same thing today. I got the beautiful Harry's Berries. So Gary, tell me about the Harry's Berries. In the meantime, I'm mixing my butter right here.
Gary - Well, Harry's Berries are strawberries from Oxnard, California. And we had a chance about a year ago, Chef Eric and I and our marketing team, to go to see the production in the farm. So it's about two hours away north from here, from Los Angeles, and it's such a beautiful farm. Their product is incredible. Their strawberries are just to me, some of the best strawberry ever in the world. They're so delicious. Yes, they are pricey. But you know what? Sometimes if you want to spend a little bit more money and have a final product that's simply amazing, then why not? Right? I'd rather spend 2 or $3 extra on strawberries from Harry's Berries than spending it on another brand from the supermarket then tastes like water.
Eric - Absolutely. And you hit that right on the nose, Chef Gary. The strawberry are so unique and they're different kinds of species, where they are basically just grown to this perfect area, and they always say, when you get the strawberry, they're not made to be staying in a refrigerator for a week. When you buy them, you eat them. And it's like, same thing. When I was growing up on the farm, and Chef Gary too, we go to the field, pick up a strawberry, we go home and have whipped cream, or make some strawberry ice cream. Mr. Volker, maybe you can tell me a little bit about that where you used to grow up. We had all like the ice cream go in front of the porch with the ice and the salt. And so it's fascinating, I think it's evolved. But again, quality is always our main driving for us. You know, buying from the farmers, supporting the farmers because they're the backbone of the United States. So while here, you can see my stock is boiling right here. And I'm going to take basically my roux over here while formed, it has a nice little consistency. And I'm going to put my whisk in there and I'm going to start mixing because I don't want to create lumps. Okay? When you have everything ready, like the most important thing on the mise en place, what I can mention with that, once you have your mise en place, the fun part is just putting things together. And you can have no idea. The more you prepare in the kitchen and more stuff you have ready, the easier it is. And then, you know, you can have basically normal tasks to get done and you can cook fantastic food. You can see it, I know I mix large bubbles over here inside. You can see, yeah. And you want to cook it a little bit. So you only bring all these beautiful flavors together, bind together. The roux is basically to bind, it gives texture a little bit. Because we want to make sure we want to take a... Excuse me, the pot pie, and we're going to put it in a beautiful gold container right here, we're going to put it in the oven. We're going to bake them. So we want to make sure everything has a wonderful flavor. I'm going to turn that off right now. And what we're going to do on that, I'll leave my whisk on the side right here. Now, I showed you my little tray over here earlier, and I just want to go over that one more time. So you can see, I have my vegetables, my carrots, my celery, my peas, my onions, all the vegetables, the leeks in there. You know, and what we did, we basically diced them in the perfect size we want, and take a little water, seasoned a little bit, like a little bit less of the ocean. We blanch them in there, and we shock them. Shock them means being put in an ice container, which stopped the cooking. Put them in a container and basically this is our mise en place. We have our truffle salt over here, we have some chopped truffles. I bought that for you guys, just for you guys. I have also a way, instead of putting heavy cream or anything, I like always a lot of the flavors. So we did sour cream and crème fraiche. One for tanginess, one for beautiful. Crème fraiche is a French cream, it was dubbed cream as the best of the best to have, and it’s very delicious. I have a little truffle oil to make sure the intensity of the flavor stays long, and then we're going to have the chicken of course, and a little lemon juice with our mise en place. Everything is prepared. But again, a recipe is just a guideline. I want to always say the same thing. The same thing when you go to make your own, or you go to a restaurant or anything like that, just a guideline to make sure it is. It's up to us to cook the perfect meal.
Suzie - Hey Chef, I have a couple of questions. Do you remove the skin before making your chicken?
Eric - No. I believe when you cook the chicken, you know, and technically I love it, the skin is actually delicious. You can dry it out, you can make little chips with it, you put it between two Silpats, you dry in an oven at 250 degrees, and you let them dry, and then you pan fry them a little bit, and you put them in dehydrated, and they're fantastic chicken skins. But on that question, no. I take basically the whole chicken. I take a three and a half to four and a half pound chicken. And I clean it, I wash it perfectly. I take a pot stock, a little bit bigger than this one right here. I put carrots, onions, celery, cloves, bay leaf, thyme, parsley. Now, I'm going to tell you something. When you cook at home sometimes you don't always have all the vegetables or anything. So we always have like, call it a bouquet garni or the same thing when I prepared my carrots, my onions and my celery, I go reverse. So while we do, I'm going to take time a little bit to explain you that. I cut all my vegetables first. Yeah, the chicken takes the longest one. But I cut my vegetables, I cut all my onions, I cut everything what I need, so I could save all the scraps, and I use that to make my stock. So I can utilize that so I don't waste anything. And so when I put the chicken in there, you always start with cold water or cold stock. If you have chicken stock already and you want to fortify the flavor, you need even more flavor, this is how we make the chicken soup that everybody likes all the time. Chef Wolfgang always comes, says "Eric, my chicken soup." Sometimes we put matzah ball, put some of the rice. And I know Mr. Volker likes always to come at the bank and afterwards he'll say, "Eric, make me a clean soup, I like that." So we always do that. But we do a fortified chicken stock. So it was made with chicken stock. We put the chicken in there, and we fortify again with flavor, and we're using that, it's fantastic. Let the food do the talking. This is the most important thing. So now my velouté over here. What I'm going to do, I never want to put the veg first in there. What I'm doing, you can see the consistency right here. Nice, a little thick. What I'm going to do on that I actually have over here. My crème fraiche and my sour cream. I prepared it, I measured it out. And I'm going to put that in there. Why I'm doing that? Well, I don't want to put beautiful vegetable cooked in a hot liquid. Well, how come? Well, I don't want to overcook them. And so this is always costly, it's called technique. And it's always to follow up with that to make sure you have a process. You always know what you're going to do today, or do before cooking in the kitchen, you always have a technique, and you always can follow stuff like that. So it's very, very, very important. What do you think, Chef Gary?
Gary - I think that it looks good. It looks really much as good as the pastry setup, but you know.
Eric - Well, you know, we're working on that. You know, how can you beat chocolate and strawberry? My favorite things. You know, being a chef and having a partner like Chef Gary in the kitchen... Chef Gary got also, I think if I'm not mistaken, got trained as savory first, yes?
Gary - Yes, I did. I did training for savory for about four years, and I got a chance to meet like a great pastry chef who was my mentor for a little while, and then I just merged into pastry. But it was actually great to start with savory and then go into pastry.
Eric - But you see, I did the reverse. I started with pastry and I finished with savory. Now, you know, one thing I learned for me... Both departments are so important. And you know, one thing I learned for me to be consistent is constantly following a recipe on pastry. The measuring is so important. And it gives you ability to understand and to create dishes and to adjust flavors. And I think that helped me so much through the years. And then chef Gary comes with some things and he looks at me, and I look at him and we're talking about dishes and the flow of the food. With anything we do, we constantly move back and forth to understand each other with it. One thing I'm going to do right now, the most important thing is always taste when you're cooking. I'm going to taste my velouté. I think it's pretty good, but I'm going to add a little pinch of salt or two. And when you season over here, just take the salt between your first 3 fingers, and you just sprinkle it over like that, just a pinch.
Volker - We have a quick question.
Eric - What's that?
Volker - A quick question. What is a good substitute for crème fraiche?
Eric - If you don't have crème fraiche, you can add extra sour cream. If not, what you're going to do, you add basically heavy cream, you know? If you can't have heavy cream, you always can use a little bit of mascarpone. It's going to be a little cheesier, but you'd have half of the quantity of the crème fraiche and you add a little heavy cream to thin it out. So right here, I have my velouté right here, I seasoned it now. What I'm going to do, I'm going to put the truffle salt in there. And you mostly can buy that in any grocery store now or any specialty store. I'm going to add my chopped truffles. Because I want to bloom them. I'm going to add my truffle oil to it as well.
Gary - That's a lot of truffles.
Eric - Only the best, only the best.
Gary - It's going to be good.
Volker - Is there a trick to stopping the roux from getting lumpy?
Eric - Yes, absolutely. Now, the technique I just made for that using... Always, when you're pouring out the pot you have, you have to have the pot, and you pour it in there. Don't worry about it if it's some little step. You can always create a base, the same thing when you make pastry. You add a little liquid first in there, and you do it. For the roux on this occasion what I did over here is basically, the stock is boiling, and I had it soft. The roux in there was soft, it was not lumpy. And so basically you don't create lumps on that. And this is the reason we're creating that technique because we don't want to have lumps in there. And constantly, so we always would make the velouté, we ask somebody, hey, come over here, I'm going to pour it, and I need somebody with a whisk. We're doing that. I hope next time I can show you how to make a world famous mac and cheese. I'm going to show you a technique on that last time. Similar to what we did over here, but I hope we're going to have one more time at cooking class so I can show you how to make the mac and cheese. A little secret over here, but I'm not going to give all my secrets today.
Volker - And are you using Italian truffles?
Eric - It depends. Now, I'm sorry. Growing up in Europe, the different style of truffles we like to use, of course the Italian I like to use is the Alba. Whose season is going to start mostly end of August until December. December, you may have where the French truffles start. Actually, I noticed the summer truffles coming in. And also, yes, we use a buyer, a truffle buyer to do preparations. I just want to use Prairie Gold. So right here I'm mixing my truffle, my salt. And now I'm going to put my vegetable and my chicken in there, very simply. And also one thing not to forget, when you take your chicken, you just want the meat. You don't want cartilage, and then when you put it out, you just chop it up in pieces a little bit and you put it in just like this I did. Can you see? Yes, absolutely. Look at that, perfect. Perfect.
Gary - Sorry, we're trying to-
Eric - Make sure that you guys can see. And you can see when I mix everything, the vegetable. Look Gary, how that looks.
Gary - Come over here, I think they will see it perfectly. Right here, by my finger.
Eric - Like, you can see that?
Gary - That looks good.
Volker - Were the vegetables raw or sautéed?
Eric - No, the vegetables, actually like I said early, they were blanched. So we dice the vegetables, like I said, I explained earlier, I do the reverse process. In early days we used to take vegetables and take new vegetables and put them in a stock. So like, the one thing is to me, you have to be respectful to the nature. You give back constantly to the nature. So we take the carrots, we dice them if we need the scraps, we use for stock or for puree. So in that case right here, I use my stock basically to use my scraps. But we dice the carrots, we cut the celery, we dice the potato. We take a pot of water, season it with salt. We bring it to boil, we put the potatoes in one after one. And you always use the lighter color first, and you use the dark, like the red color in the end because you don't want to color all the vegetables. And you cook them, you check them out, and you take a little skewer or you chill them and put them in an ice box like that to taste them. You want them cooked, but not cook too.
Gary - Al dente.
Eric - A little bit, yes.
Volker - And at this point we're remaining off heat or going back?
Eric - Since I turn it off, everything is off heat.
Gary - So basically as soon as you put the crème fraiche, then there's no more heat, right?
Eric - Yes. The reason I just tasted, it's right on the money.
Gary - That was a big taste, Chef. That was a full spoon. I'm a bit jealous now.
Eric - Listen, I love eating my food. You never saw a skinny chef anywhere. I'm going to add a little bit of lemon juice right here, like approximately a tablespoon and a half. And I would like to... The moment you put crème fraiche and sour cream in there, you don't want to bring it back to boil. You want to keep the intensity and the flavor of the crème fraiche and the sour cream.
Volker - Would it be possible if we skipped pre-cooking the vegetables and had them cook in the oven with the pie?
Eric - No, I suggest not that. Now, if you cut them very small, yes. But I wouldn't suggest that. The carrots or celery or anything will be too, how do we call it, too crunchy. It's very unpleasant to eat crunchy vegetables like that when you have a puff pastry, and you're going to see when I'm going to put that with a chicken. It is better to blanch and have everything ready. Now, I know I use maybe techniques, or I say something is maybe too difficult. If it's too difficult for somebody to blanch in a pot of water, you always can season a little bit with olive oil, put it on the sheet pan, and put them to oven the 300, 350 degrees and roast them. You don't have to blanch in the water, but I just want to make sure the chicken is the main focus on that. The vegetables are there to accompany them. And I think this is very important. You don't want to take something away. Now, we do the dish in many different flavor. We do a vegetable pot pie, we do vegetable stocks, you know, we do sometimes vegan.
Gary – Fish?
Eric - Fish also, lobster. One of them, something we do over the Christmas time, we actually make a lobster stock which is slightly little pinkish. But there's no cream in there, it's just basically cooked and tomato product in there, and then we take the lobster stock, we're doing the same technique, the recipe, we ice the lobster, the lobster is just a little bit blanched. And that way, yes, we cook the lobster a little less. We form it, and then we put it on the puff pastry, and you bake them, and you come out, it's perfect. And also the one thing we can do with short ribs, and then we use like short ribs stock, which is going to be brown a little bit. So it's very versatile, but it's a good base to allow you to start cooking and be comfortable to cook wonderful food.
Volker - Perfect. And what's a good timing on blanching the vegetables?
Eric - It is relatively fast. I think couple of minutes. So now I'm telling like I say to you, mise en place is the key of success. It's the same thing in everything when you go to somewhere, you always have to be ready. And the thing in the kitchen, the most important thing for us is to make sure we constantly think, okay, how long does that take? So we take the pot of water up, it's boiling, salt is in there, the vegetables are cut, you have the ice bath. You know, an ice bath is basically you take a little bowl, put some ice in there, pull up some water in there, and put a little pinch of salt in it. You always want to season the ice bath too as well. Then you, you take a spider, we called it a spider. It's basically a fancy name for a spoon, where it has a little bit of grated metal racks like that, it looks like a spider web technically. And you took it out, you cook it, you stir it, and you season the water. Like I say, a little bit less as the ocean. I'm pretty sure everybody went to the beach and there, right? The taste of the water of the ocean. That nice saltiness. And you want to make sure everything is balanced. You never want to be monotone, you don't want to be flat. So I am very happy with the flavor over here. What I'm going to do, I'm going to let it get a little bit room temperature and mix it a little bit, and I'm going to get ready and chef Gary is going to show us a technique. I know what he's going to do, yeah?
Gary - Do you want me to stop? Or do you want me to put it in?
Eric - I can put it in, and then I can start doing the puff pastry. Yeah?
Gary - Okay.
Eric - Okay. So we have the puff pastry, and we're going to stay right here. I actually have the puff pastry right here. Where is it?
Volker - If we wanted to thicken the broth at this point, would we just add more flour?
Eric - Excuse me again?
Volker - If someone wanted to thicken the broth at this point?
Eric - It's a very good question. On that point, I know this is like, RTG, ready to go. So on that point, anything you want to do, you're going to have to do done in different parts. You're going to have to get a little stock going, you're going to have to get butter and flour. Now I'm going to tell you like that hit and miss on hand to hand, flour and butter equal part constantly. So if I say to you, okay, for like four cups or whatever. You know, when we cook for 1300 people at the Oscars, we're using 25 pounds of flour, 25 pounds of butter, we may skin and put in a big, brazen cattle, we may have like 25 gallons of chicken stock, if I'm memorizing properly. May have five, four gallons of carrots, four gallons of... Everything is prepared. So, in case I want to take it out, I need to take basically stock and make a roux again, and then take it out. Because if you're going to bring that to boil again because you wanted to add flour, if you put raw flour inside the roux right now, it's going to taste raw, it's going to taste gummy. It's going to taste like you have the raw flavor. When you do like for example, like you toast flour, for example, you want to make a sauce bleu, like it's a very classical French technique. You toast the flour on the sauté pan, you cool it down, and you make a roux with that. Then we make the beurre noisette where butter has come to boil, you mix both of them together. It gives a nuttiness and it gives also a nice, dark color inside the sauce. Okay? So right here I have my puff pastry. Put that over here, I'm going to put that-
Gary - Okay. I'll be done in a couple minutes.
Eric - That's okay. So I have the puff pastry right here. Now you can see, I cut them already in a circle. There's the little tin containers I'm going to use, and you can see right here I can basically cut them like an inch and a half, or like a three quarter of an inch on the side. So I can basically fold them over. So what we're going to do on that, I'm going to fill up the pot pie, and at the same time, chef Gary like we're always partners right here. Chef Gary, I want you to brush like that much area here around the sides.
Gary - Oui, Chef.
Eric - Okay. You see that? This is a perfect sous chef. "Oui, Chef." It means "Yes, Chef."
Gary - It's just for the camera. No.
Eric - So right here I have four ounce ladle, I take in my container right here, my pot pie. And I put a nice amount of the pot pie mixture. And you fill it up a little bit more, three quarters. You always want to create a gap, I don't know if you can see it over here. A little bit of gap to make sure there is enough steam creating so the puff pastry can be nice and aerated. Now the recipe I send you, I'm making four pot pie. And actually the recipe makes you a little bit more. I never want to make something. I'm going to tell you something. My favorite thing, when I make pot pie myself, I always like to have the next day, do a rice pilaf and mix the pot pie on top. It's delicious. When we use it as a dumpling sauce, it's always very good. Perfect. Perfect.
Gary - So what else can you use Chef, if you don't have like containers like this?
Eric - You can, you know what? You can use almost everything. So long as it can go in an oven.
Gary - Okay.
Eric - And so you can use a soufflé container, you can use a cobbler dish, you can use, you know, like if you had one of this right here for example, and it's small. Even like, you know, a coffee cup. Well actually, you can use that to friends and family. We do that sometimes to pass in our parties, we'll make 10 small vessels like this small one. So Chef Gary, thank you so much. Great job. So the puff pastry, I have taken... The puff pastry, I'm going to give you a little secret. Inside the puff pastry is mostly butter and flour. Every diamond is a flour, and you use the butter in there. So when you put in the refrigerator it gets nice and firm, I actually, when we do the Oscars, we pre-cut the puff pastry. Now, you know what we do in church, in hundred portions, we have to cut a little bit ahead. So puff pastry is okay if you put in the freezer. And what we do so it's nice and rigid, so when we set up in the back area, and we do an assembly line, we put like the containers like this, and we put the puck pastries washed on the bottom because we want that to glue, and we're going to let the puff pastries just fold over. Let the puff pastry do the job. Okay?
Suzie - Chef, was the egg wash is egg with water or just egg?
Eric - No. So, on the egg wash right here, what I've done over here... Thank you for asking for that. It's a very good question. What I'm do at the end with the egg wash, I take one whole egg and one egg yolk. So, I want to make sure it's nice and bright.
Gary - Would you beat it like an omelet?
Eric - Yes, exactly. Very big. So you can see right now I have this, like the puff pastry is nice and round. And what I'm going to do for the pot pie right here... Let me finish to put that on top of here.
Gary - So, the egg wash on the bottom will help to glue-
Eric - Exactly. You know, one of the fun parts, like Wolfgang always says, Barbara Streisand and all these wonderful people who come eat in the Oscars, one of the favorite things to see is always not only what's inside, but also what's around the cup. They love the puff pastry.
Gary - Because you can use it as like dipping, right?
Eric - Exactly. So what I'm going to do right now, I have like you see right here, I have the puff pastry laying on top of my pot pie. Okay. Now, if you tell me something, I'm going to tell you. If you don't want to do pot pie, you want to do tomato soup en croute, which was a very famous French dish from Mr. Bocuse, you can do that too, you know? So you can put almost everything in a container like that. So you're going to take your two hands, you're going to form them like that, like open it, and you're going to just turn lightly around the cup. That one is a little sticky right now so I'm going to put it like this. Perfect. May have a little flour to make sure... Right here, and I push it to right here like this. And it sticks nice and perfectly around the mold. And you can see it's all totally wrapped. So when I have this right here like this, after that, we're going to take the egg wash and we're going to brush the entire puff pastry. We're going to lift it up a little bit. And then we're going to put it on a baking sheet.
Suzie - Chef, did you make your own puff pastry, or was it store bought as a good substitute?
Eric - So that puff pastry, Chef Gary...
Gary - That's why he brought me.
Eric - Chef Gary is actually... Listen, I'm not here because he's saying that, but we work together. We make a lot of things from scratch at H&H, Hollywood & Highland, where our main commissary is. So for the Oscars, we make the puff pastry from scratch. So Chef Gary actually make the puff pastry from scratch. So, I mean, he can tell you a little bit, when you make puff pastry, you know, when he's like there with his team making the puff pastry, it's actually very delicious. And he always tell me, "Eric, you have to add so much butter." And I'm like, oh, I guess its puff pastry time.
Gary - And a fun fact about the puff pastry we actually make for the Oscars, which is not the case today but, what we do for the Oscars to add a little flavor to the puff pastry, we not only add butter. So basically a puff pastry is a dough and butter, right? And you're going to put that butter basically in the dough and fold it together to create layers. And those layers are going to create the puffiness. So now what we do for the Oscars, we take the butter and we add truffles in it. Which is fun because you ended up with a black truffle puff pastry wrapped chicken pot pie. Oh, matzah pot pie. But yeah, that's a fun fact about it.
Suzie - And I know we're doing individual pies, small ones. Is it possible to make one large with the same ingredients and what size of a pot should we use?
Eric - Well, I think that's a very good question too. The one thing is the most important thing. Also, if we do one larger size, you need to have a large puff pastry. You constantly want it to make sure, like same thing I show you, it goes around the edge and you can cover everything up. So everything stays in there.
Gary - And if I may say too, you might want to make sure you have a gap in between the top of the container and the puff pastry. And the reason why this is very important is because when the pot pie is baking, as the garnish inside the velouté with the chicken and the vegetable is boiling and getting hot, it creates steam. And that steam is going to be trapped between that gap. And that's going to have to like lift up the puff pastry. So I would say that no matter container you use, and correct me if I'm wrong, Chef, you want to make sure that you have about half an inch. Depends, or a quarter inch, right?
Eric - Yeah.
Gary - Filled so then your puff pastry is on top and it would be nicely puffed.
Eric - So which one we're going to use, this one, Gary? The bottom one? So you can see I put them on a baking sheep. Nice, separated. We put two fingers right here to make sure it can rise up. Now, the one thing you're going to ask me, I'm going to put that in the oven and I'm going to tell you something real quick. You know what? We need to do 26 minutes.
Gary - Okay.
Eric - So the one thing is, you're going to ask me, "Well, can we make the pot pie by the day before?" Yes, you can. But I always suggest to put the puff pastry the day of. Because when you put the puff pastry on top and you put it in the refrigerator... Chef, go ahead.
Gary - No, I'm all right.
Eric - The puff pastry, it dries off if it gets in the refrigerator. So you can make the mixture, but we like to make everything the day of. Same thing for the Academy Award, we make the pot pie day of. You know, Chef Wolfgang comes in and people ask so many times, "Oh, how many days ahead you go and you put that in the freezer?" No, no, we're not. We're working day and night. We have all the... Everybody. But the day of the Academy Awards, we're not just cooking for the Academy Award, we're cooking for the entire production team, the entire staff. And I think lunch and dinner and sometimes middle meals. So when the day comes for the Academy Awards and we do the chicken pot pie for Barbara Streisand and all the wonderful Chef Wolfgang likes to cook for, we want to make sure we give them something unique, and they can taste the difference. Now, at home is a little bit different. You know, you have a family, you have certain things you have to take care of. But the one thing is, make sure you always do the things the right way. You can cook them, you can make all the vegetables, blanch everything, and have everything. It takes no time, you can see right now. I just made that, you can prep the whole mise en place the day before, the day of you make the pot pie, let it sit a little bit, put the puff pastry on top. Put it in a refrigerator for a little bit if you want, for an hour. You know, if you have guests coming over, you can put it in the fridge, take it out, let it be in room temperature for 10, 15 minutes so it can temper. And then you have the oven preheated 400 degrees, you put them inside the oven, and let the food do the talking.
Suzie - Thank you.
Eric - Chef Gary, what do you have over here?
Gary - All right. I think it's my time to talk now. I've been patient and just waiting for you to be pretty quiet. So now I'm going to go-
Eric - Yeah, okay. Do you want to mix that?
Gary - Sure. So today we're going to make a chocolate lava cake, or truffle cake, or molten cake. It has many names, but it has one result. The same reason for everybody when you take the first bite or when you cut into it, you're like, "Oh wow, that's what I want. That's exactly what I see when I want a chocolate cake." Chef Wolfgang loved that cake. That's the cake we've been doing for many years now in the restaurants and believe me, like, it's hard to remove it from the menu. That's the most popular items at Spago or at CUT. And it is very classic. And the reason why I wanted to do the recipe with you today and share with you the treats and how to do it is because that's something that's very approachable to do at home when you have friends over, when you have the family over, but you need to make sure to do it properly. So I'm very excited to share it with you, and thanks for having me. I'm super excited to go ahead and walk you through step by step. So what I like to call it, and it is what it is, right? It's a five ingredients cake. But yet you get into magic and you cut in it, and it's gooey and beautiful and delicious. So it's not about, of course, the quality of the ingredients, but it's also how to use it and how to combine them together.
Eric - So what kind of chocolate are you using, Chef?
Gary - Dark chocolate. So you're going to ask me, maybe, "Can we do it with other chocolates?" You can. In my opinion, because of the sweetness and the balance that you have at the time of product, dark chocolate is the best. So right here, we have 70% chocolate mixed with butter. So I took my chocolate and the butter, which are the equal part, and it's melted on the double broiler. So it's not really hot. It's probably about, I would say 80 degrees, right?
Eric - Yeah, it is. More a little bit known as warm.
Gary - Yup. And then we're going to make sure that it's just resting over here. Nice and warm. Then over here, I got my eggs, my egg yolks, and sugar. And I'm going to beat it for about a minute or two. So if you do have a KitchenAid at home, I would say, go for it. Now I'm not going to lie, I mixed it a little bit earlier. You probably saw me do that. And just because it makes it easier and I don't have to stand in front of you for two minutes and mix it. I don't want noise from the mixer.
Eric - Yes, of course. Now chef, I see about the double boiler. Chef, Gary's going to answer that question to you. The double boiler is like a pot and you put something else on top. My favorite way to also cook scrambled eggs on that, but we can talk about that one day. But the next thing is, Chef, I heard water is danger for the chocolate.
Gary - Yes. Very dangerous in many ways, right? In school, what my teacher used to tell me is that water is the number one enemy from chocolate. No matter what application you use the chocolate for, water and chocolate do not mix together. The reason is it's going to turn white, it's going to turn lumpy, it's going to get all messed up and not right. So what you want to do when you're done with this, you're going to lift your bowl, make sure it's not too hot. And you see all around here, I have water from the steam from the pot. So you always want to make sure that you dry it up. For many reasons, right? The main one is you don't want your table right here and your cutting board to be dirty. But also when I'm going to mix it, if I mix it together, the water from the bottom might just end up in the cake, and you don't want that to happen. Right? So right there we have our chocolate and our butter, which is melted at about 85 and 90 degrees. We have our egg yolks, our eggs, and sugar right here. That have been mixed for about a couple minutes.
Eric - So chef, if you have a KitchenAid it would be very important to tell the people, what speed you should have the KitchenAid on? Two or three?
Gary - I would say four.
Eric - Four?
Gary - Yeah. Three or four, yeah.
Eric - And you want to say, like Mr. Volker may say, again, techniques, you want it ribbony? You want it like a nice fluffy, airy?
Gary - Well this is the trick, right? You don't want to over mix it. Because if you do over mix it, what do you do when you mix? You add air into it. So if you over mix it, you're just going to have a very fluffy cake at the end. And quite frankly, that's not what you're looking for. You don't want a soufflé. If you want a soufflé, yes. You want something that is very airy and light. Now we want a decadent chocolate cake so you don't want to mix it. So therefore we don't add too much water into the batter.
Eric - And the one thing chef Gary forget to mention is to basically melt the sugar and the eggs mixed together. And with super fine sugar.
Suzie - Gary?
Gary - Yup, yup.
Suzie - Chef, we have a quick question. Is it salted or unsalted butter?
Gary - Unsalted butter. Although, I think that if you're like me, and I really love salted butter because my mom is from a region of France where they do great salted butter in Chaumont, and I love salted butter everything. So if you want to do salted butter, I don't see why not. And I actually liked a little salted butter in it. Something about salt and pastry, and it might sound a bit crazy or odd, is actually they're good friends. They're not enemies. Just like Chef Eric and I, he's salt, I'm sugar, and we go in together. Because sometimes, most of the time, if you're doing a dessert, especially with chocolate or even fruits, if you add a pinch of salt, salt just like absorbs all the flavor. And it helps to bring up many flavors that you won't necessarily have. For instance, you take those beautiful strawberries. And that's what my wife likes to do at home. She takes the strawberries, not cold. One thing you should know, those strawberries, you can keep them in the fridge. But when you want to eat them or any strawberries, put them outside of the fridge when you start your dinner or your lunch, because they get their flavor when they're room temperature. And that's very important. Really. You can really taste anything with a strawberry or the fruit, any fruit. A melon or-
Eric - Yes, this is what we did last time on the last cooking class we did. We did all the room temperature food, because you want that to have that beautiful flavor. You don't want just cold food.
Gary - Exactly. So then what would you do? You would take the strawberries room temp, just put a little bit of balsamic vinegar and a little pinch of salt, a little whipped cream on top, and that's it. You'll have like one of the most amazing desserts for the summer. I mean, how simple is that? But also the saltiness from the vinegar kind of bring up that flavor and just develop like new flavor basically in your palette. You want to help me, Chef?
Eric - Yes, absolutely.
Suzie - And can you prepare-
Gary - Yep?
Suzie - Sorry to interrupt. Can you prepare the mixer in advance and put them in the fridge?
Gary - You could, that's an option. You could very well do it. I would just say the main change about doing this technique will be the cooking time at the end, right? Because if you keep the batter finished in the fridge overnight, the batter temperature's going to drop, right? So you're going to have to bake it longer therefore in the oven to make sure it's fully cooked.
Eric- The one thing is just before I help Chef Gary, you can see our pot pie right here. The one thing I want to go over very quick, some of you guys maybe have a convection oven, some of you don't have a convection oven. What can we do for that? And this is going to be a conversation chef Gary's going to bring up a little later on. What I do right now, and you can see it's approximately like nine minutes already inside the chicken pot pie. I'm going to just show them to you. Okay. You get a little color right here. What I'm going to do, I'm going to rotate them inside the oven to make sure, even as a convection oven right here, I'm going to rotate them. Okay?
Gary - Alright. So now in that melted chocolate and butter, we're going to add the all-purpose flour. And the reason why you want to do it now, it's again, like chef Eric was mentioning earlier when he was making the roux, is that flour will get incorporated much easier and much better when the mix that you're putting it into is warm. And now if you do that into that same mix of butter and chocolate, and it's just pretty cold or not completely warm, you will have lump of flour, or pieces of flour. And that's not, of course, when you're looking for.
Eric - Chef, your flour you're putting in is AP flour, yes?
Gary - All-purpose, yeah. So you can see right here, it's nice and smooth. Get it off the side a little bit. So you want to make sure that you have more land and everything is smooth and-
Eric- Looks beautiful, Chef.
Gary - Yeah.
Eric - You know what the best thing is about that? I can't wait to get it in the spatula for me so I can have the raw batter to eat. I'm sorry.
Gary - And now we're going to bring these two together. And the way to do that, you keep in mind, right? You want to make sure that it is smooth and not properly incorporated. So what I like to do is, I always come with my eggs and sugar and then add it to my chocolate right here. Then I'm going to scrape it. And I purposely leave some in the bowl, sorry, because right here in the bottom in this bowl, because that's the original bowl from the chocolate, we have chocolate. And you don't want that. Now you want to put it back in there. So they're both very well combined.
Eric - There you go. Beautiful.
Gary - Now, if my mom would do that, my mom loves to bake. And then when I was a child, I always was next to her and watched her bake. If she would do that to me, I would be mad. I'll be like, mom-
Eric - He's doing that for me right now too.
Gary - I mean, my best thing to do, my favorite thing to do was just to put my finger and just like scoop it and lick it, but not today, not on camera. So you're going to go ahead and mix it a little bit more. And you see the texture its pretty, a ribbon, that's what we'd call it. It's nice and smooth. You don't have any pieces of flour. You don't have anything that does not look right. But at this point you're going to remove your whisk. And then right here, this is our containers. So traditional like aluminum containers, four ounce. Now you can do two ounces, you can do eight ounces. You can really pick the size that you want. I like four ounces because it's a nice serving at the end of the meal. It's about a very nice and fair portion when you're done eating everything. So, if you have oil or if you have butter, you can use it. I cheat a little bit and I use spray bottle. Very simple. I'm going to go over each container.
Eric - And you know, Chef-
Gray - Just a little spray.
Eric - Yes, exactly. What chef Gary does actually, we can see the techniques where you think we learn from each other. When sometimes we do grilling or anything like that, or cooking a piece of fish or anything, we sometimes use that too. Because you know, you don't want any excessive oil or anything, and it's very neutral too as well.
Gary - And now the goal is to put that batter into each cup. So you have different options to do so. The first one, the one we use in the kitchen, is a piping bag or pastry bag. Which quite frankly, is not super easy to find everywhere. You can at certain or like special stores. But if you don't have one at home and I'm not going to use it today, you can also anyway just use an ice cream scoop.
Eric - And Chef, something I learned a couple of weeks ago, we went to an event and one of my sous chef forgot to put the pastry bags in there for a special sauce we did, we had Ziploc bags. So we put everything in the Ziploc bag, we got the corner, and we used that too, and it worked perfectly also as well. So there's always something you have to realize, so you can use something on a Ziploc bag too as well.
Suzie - And Chef Gary, if you're using ceramics instead, do you change the temperature or the time in the oven?
Gary - If what? Sorry.
Suzie - Ceramic.
Gary - Oh, ceramic. No, not necessarily. I would just take to, for example, like the magic recipe for this cake, for a four ounces cake... 325 degrees, 10 minutes. And in convection oven. And quite frankly, that's perfect. Its likely firm on the outside, and it's beautiful and gooey on the inside. Now if you do ceramic, I don't see it being a difference, quite frankly. I think it will be the same. Maybe a couple minute longer because the ceramic has to get hot in the first place, but probably 13 minutes then.
Eric - Yeah, no. I think it should be pretty similar.
Gary - And will show you how I check at the end of the baking process to make sure it's properly cooked. So the baking time and temperature... Sorry, let me rephrase that. The baking time is always like, upon like what you like and your oven, right? You're never sure that my oven is the same than yours, et cetera, et cetera. Temperature though, is very important. So you want to make sure that if tomorrow you go to someone else's kitchen or you give a recipe to one of your friends, you have to be sure to like, how do I know it is cooked? Like the recipe calls for nine minutes. Well, guess what? That might be 8, or that might be 11 because the oven is not the same. So you want to make sure that when you do a cake like this, how am I going to test it and how am I going to be sure that it's actually cooked. Let's take an example, an apple pie. How do you know when the apple pie is cooked? Well, we have tricks, we have the color, we can lift a little bit of the door, or if we have like a Purex-
Eric - The glass pane.
Gary - The glass bowl you can see through. But we always have tricks like that. So that's something very important in baking, is use your personal judgment, and also the personal tricks that you learn from the prior time when you bake the chocolate cake, or you make that apple pie. You're like, oh my God, the bottom was a bit soggy, so maybe next time I'm going to put maybe the 10 last minute, and I'm going to make sure that heat comes from the bottom from my oven.
Eric - Exactly. It's all about technique again.
Gary - So like I said, I'm going to put them in your oven now. So, I spaced them out pretty well so they have room around. And the reason why I'm saying that is because... It might sound weird if I say that, but this is not right. Right? The reason is, you want to make sure that he goes all around each and every-
Eric - Corner.
Gary - Corner and route. So you want to make sure that the air is circulating in between. So I'm going to put it in the older at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, you want to check the pot pie?
Eric - Yes. I know, it looks great. One thing is very important constantly cooking. Us chefs and cooks, we always like kitchen towels. One of the gifts I always do for all the other chefs for home, always give them kitchen towels. But we like to have towels, and same thing what chef Gary mentioned, you always try to move everything around the sheet pan, because if you open it up, you want to make sure it's balanced properly. So let me just right now check the chicken pot pie right here. I'll look at my timer, I put a timer on that. I have one minute and 45 minutes from halftime. A little bit more.
Gary - One minute, 45 seconds, that's what he meant.
Eric - Yeah. So you can see it right now, right here. Look at that. Look how beautiful that is. And we still have a little more time to go, but you can feel already, you know, how nice that is. And you can see the puffed up right here. A little more coloring there, I'm going to put them back in.
Gary - Now, it's game on, like, they're going to be asking where my cake is.
Eric - And I hope so. You test mine, I test yours.
Gary - All right.
Eric - So great, everything is cooking. We have a little more time cooking. The one thing that's fun in the kitchen, I love cooking at home, I love cooking at work. This is what we do, this is what we love to do, you know. Everybody asks me, "Chef, how many days you work a week?" You know, I'll say, "You know what? I love going to work every day, I love what I'm doing." I love talking to the guests. You know, one thing, Chef Wolfgang came yesterday in the kitchen and you know, he always give us challenges. "You should make like house-made bacon, you should make house-made prosciutto or anything." So when he comes in the kitchen, he always want to see tests, and it's fascinating when we in the kitchen is the center of the house. In your house, in our house. But the food is always exciting and it makes it exciting to test the food, and I just can't wait to taste the food, it's always exciting for me.
Gary - So meanwhile, I'm going to just set up some strawberries. So we talked a little bit earlier about those strawberries. You can get them from the supermarket. Those specifically, like I said, they're Harry's Berries from Oxnard, California, are really my favorite, but out there is some outstanding strawberries as well. So one thing I like to do when you have a good product and a good ingredient, and especially when it comes to fruits, in my opinion, you don't want to do too much to it. You really don't want to add too much fluff that basically does not help to improve a level of more flavor in the product. So what I did to these strawberries, I just cut them in quarters, and then I put a little pinch of sugar just to kind of like get... Take a little bit of sugar. And then a little lemon juice. And then what's going to happen after that, they're going to start like releasing their juice. And that's what I like about them, and we call them like, macerated strawberries, but I really like it because the lemon juice will really bring together like that acidity from the strawberry, but also like balance it out. And that's something that I really like. It's cooking with salt in the pastry, or baking with salt, and also using lemon juice, yuzu juice, ponzu, and grapefruit. Like citrus to me and baking are very important, and it tastes delicious in pastry as well.
Eric - Yep, absolutely. Great. Fantastic. I couldn't have said it better myself. The fun part is also when you're cooking, you also have a lot of cleaning up. I constantly, when I cook for so many kitchen, we always try to organize ourselves. So I have like, okay, where's my mise en place, I put everything in plastic, dirty cup, everything is organized. Some in your homes have P-racks, or containers or anything. But make sure... The hardest thing, sometimes cooking at home, that can be challenging is cleaning and getting stuff organized. So I think, you know, I am very excited to be in a virtual testing. I think, you know, hope we're going to do more. We can show you a couple of tricks next time, we can do some other dessert, we'll make, you know, on the foods, how to cook perfectly or to butcher a chicken, or to make chicken stock or anything. We really wanted to make sure to share our professionalism. To come to you, to your house. And it's always to meet people and to share our fantastic recipes.
Suzie - Thank you so much chefs. Quick question. We've noticed you've been using the electric stove. Do you prefer electric over gas? Is there one easier than the other?
Eric - You know, for me in the kitchen... Yes, I grew up with gas burners. You know, nowadays we're evolving. We got induction, we have electric stove. This actually is an induction stove over here. You know, it doesn't really matter. When you just cook something, it doesn't really matter in a certain way whatsoever. It's a preference with everybody, it depends where you live too as well. You should not alternate yourself whatsoever. The one thing that's different, the gas, constantly, you have to be the cook. You have to be to driver, you have to adjust to anything. When you cook something over electric or induction, it maintains the temperature constantly.
Gary - Right. And that's one of the reasons why I, as a pastry chef, love inductions for many reasons. But mostly because you can really control the power and for how long you want it going on. For instance, if you want to do a fruit jelly, or like something that needs like a slow cooking, but a long time, or jam or something like that, inductions are great. And the one we have at work or in the kitchen, they're portable inductions. So you can put them next to you, plug it in, and then just set your jam for, let's say two hours very low, and it's controlled. And in my opinion, too, they don't attach as much as gas. But I understand that gas, for example, if I do eclairs or pate a choux, right? Or a cream puff or things like that, I really need that heat, that really like sizzling heat from the bottom to dry it out in the first place. And I think it goes along with meat, right?
Eric - Yes, absolutely. And I think, you know, same thing when you cook, it's like people ask, you know, we're really known for our pizzas. And you say, "Can you cook a pizza in a gas oven?" Yes, you can. But it's something, you know, something with that when you see the flame, the fire, you're waiting on that. It brings something to the flavor, the smell also as well, this is also a process, and it's fantastic. On the stove, you can go either or. I like burners. Depends techniques I use, but it isn't going to let me stop cooking a good meal. The world of people makes a difference. The same thing wants to talk to everyone, is the person behind the stove, you know? And respecting also the product you use, that makes the difference. And I think, you know, an oven personally, you know, electric is more consistent whatsoever. It depends what you're using it for, but it's all personal preference, what you like.
Gary - Yeah, and also like how much you practice it, right? When you feel comfortable with this induction, for instance. When you've cooked on it, you messed up things, you made beautiful things. Then you really feel like you understand how powerful it is and how much you can control it and how it's going to apply to your product.
Eric - Exactly.
Gary - And that's the same thing we've all done. As a baker, like, you want to make sure that you know your oven, and it doesn't come overnight. You really have to practice to therefore be able to be like, oh, I know that to make my croissants, this oven, if I leave it for 10 minutes, and if I don't rotate my tray like chef Eric was mentioning, one side of the croissant's going to be darker than the other. So then the next day, what do you do? You put five minutes on your timer, open the oven after five minutes, rotate the tray, and add another five minutes. So really it comes with practice, and it's a gymnastic, right?
Eric - Yeah, absolutely. On that time you heard the timer too as well, I think...
Gary - Oh, look at that.
Eric - I have actually technically like a couple more minutes in there, but like same thing chef Gary, I'm a very methodic person, I very try to control what I do. I think personally, we can serve them I know if we want to, but I want a little bit the puff pastry cooked a little bit touch more.
Gary - Look at this one.
Eric - Yeah it's bubbling and everything. It's speaking. And this why we cook always on the sheet pans, you can see it drips a little bit right here. It's okay. This is part of cooking, you know? But again, this is fantastic. I'm going to put them a little bit more, two more minutes in the oven to get that little dark color I want, because I like that beautiful flavor and that caramelization inside the puff pastry.
Gary - And the virtual demo is great. And I really love every single aspect and everything about it. I think it's a great interaction from being across the world or across the country. One thing that if some day, a technician or like one program will actually be able to share the smell in a conference call, that will be the best. Because I'm telling you right now in this kitchen, it smells like heaven, it smells so good.
Eric - Yeah. Perfect, yeah. Your chocolate cakes are looking great too by the way.
Gary - Yeah? They're getting there. So, we have about two more minutes.
Eric - Yes.
Suzie - While we're waiting for the cake, a couple of questions we have here. Will the lava cake have chocolates running down the middle? Everyone's asking.
Eric - What is it?
Suzie - Will the lava cake have chocolate running down the middle?
Eric - Oh yeah. For sure, yes. I mean, hey, cross fingers, but yeah, that's the goal, right? But again, if you respect the steps that I showed you, then there is no reason why it would not. And that's what you want, right? You're like, oh my God, I'm going to get to it, and then you open it and its just goo, and it's delicious, right? And you can dip your strawberries. Today we're going to do the strawberries that I cut earlier to go with, because chocolate and strawberries go very well. But something that Chef Wolfgang also really likes is whipped cream, so I'm going to put a little whipped cream on the side. And one of the reason why he likes whipped cream, and I also do, and most people do out there, is because the whipped cream is slightly acidic, again. And when you eat the chocolate either by itself or with some strawberries, sometimes it can get a little bit overwhelming in your mouth. And you're like, oh my God, this isn't a sweet for me. Or like, it's getting pretty sweet. But then you take your scoop of, or spoonful of whipped cream, and the acidity and it's not really fermentation, but the acidity from the whipped cream is just like cutting off that sugar and kind of resetting the balance in your batter, which is very nice.
Gary - Yep.
Eric - And what I mean whipped cream, I mean, it's just heavy cream and sugar. So let's say you want to do 500 grams of heavy cream. You want to add maybe a hundred gram or 80 grams of sugar, a little bit of vanilla, and just whip it until it gets nice and soft peak, or depends how you like it. And one thing too, I wanted to touch bases on this, talking about baking. If you want to bake, the best advice I can give it to you, go to Amazon or any places where they sell those, get a scale for yourself. A scale is very important and it's very easy to use. And nowadays, most recipes from some of the most talented chefs in the world use grams. And I do like cups, I do like spoons and teaspoons. And I do understand that. I mean, it's not about being bad or right, or wrong or right, it's more about precision. Because let's say for instance, if you have a cup of flour, how do we know how pressed the flour is? And yes, it might be a cup, but if you look into the scale, you might have a difference of 20 grams, and 20 grams on a small recipe like today is a lot. So if you want to take on something from me today, besides the recipe and everything we're doing, and the discussion we are having is, if you want to bake good, get a scale. A good scale is about 20, 30 bucks, and you can use it for everything. I mean for everything, from savory-
Gary - Yeah, actually for us too, in the kitchen too I mean, the thing and the challenges for us, we're cooking for so much numbers of people, we're cooking like for four people. We have to break down. Oh my goodness, Chef, Chef. Let put a towel over here for you right here.
Eric - This is 10 minutes.
Gary - Oh yeah, that's even better. Good job.
Eric - So this is what we're going to try to see in those cakes. So, tell me, how do you know it's baked? Well, first of all, you want to touch the outside, right? And I know some people cook meat or that's the same, right? For cooks, by like touching, like depending on where you touch your finger its tenderer, it's more firm. So if you put your two fingers like this, right, you want to touch right here. And this is about how much firm you want it to be. Right? Will you say so?
Gary - Yes, Chef.
Eric - And then the center you can see is sinking, which is a good sign. It means that the chocolate in the center is not fully baked. The egg and the sugar haven't been like so heated and so like baked, that it's like gooey right now. So another trick that I want to share with you is, do not try to un-mold it right away. And the reason is, right now, what's happening because there is no more heat, and it's no longer in the oven, the chocolate and the butter are recrystallizing. Not over like five minutes or a minute, it's going to take maybe like six minutes, but just let it sit for a little bit. If you try to un-mold it right away, 50% chance when you pop it up and flip it over, it might just break. So give it six, 4-6 minutes, and then un-mold it. So let those guys rest and then we come back to it.
Gary - And we'll do the same thing in the kitchen right here. I just want to turn off my timer. I just looked behind right here. Perfect, 13 seconds left. So I'm perfect on time. But the same thing in the kitchen. We always cook stuff and let it rest. Why? A piece of meat, a pasta, anything you do, you don't go straight from the vessel to cook it. First of all, you will burn your mouth, second of all, it is not very wet and you want to make sure you know what you're serving. You take a piece of meat, and you go right from the grill to the plate and guess what's going to happen the moment you're going to open it, all the natural flavor and the juice are coming out from the steak, and then a couple of minutes after that. Here you are! Perfect, Chef. Look, here he is.
Chef Wolfgang - Hi, everybody. I'm coming to learn how to cook. And Eric didn't invite me before.
Eric - But Chef, I listen well.
Volker - Hello, Chef Wolfgang. How are you? This is Volker.
Chef Wolfgang - I am excellent. Oh, we have chicken pot pie, I can smell it. I feel like my mother is here, but its Eric.
Volker - Thank you so much for coming, we really appreciate it.
Chef Wolfgang - Oh thank you, it's my pleasure. You know, we know where we have to go when we need money, so we always... Even without that, I know you like good food, but that's important. How is everything? Are you up north?
Volker - We've learned a lot today and you know, your culture and your service centric focus is very similar to the First Republic Bank. You demonstrated how you collaborate and teamwork, and you have fun at work, and to make sure that your clients and guests have the best possible outcome. So that's very similar to our culture. Thank you so much.
Chef Wolfgang - That's why we like to work with you, and we don't work with some other banks. I don't want to mention their name because they only care about the money and not the other people.
Volker - Thank you, thank you.
Chef Wolfgang - You're welcome. Well, are you ready to eat or what?
Eric - Absolutely. We just took them out the oven. So I told all the teams, that I let them rest a little bit because we want to make sure everything is not too hot, and you don't burn yourself. Chef Gary just took the chocolate cakes out to let them rest a little bit.
Chef Wolfgang - I can see them medium rare here, huh?
Gary - They should be just however you like it.
Eric - And we got your favorite, we went with Gary and we went to the market to get the Harry's Berries.
Chef Wolfgang - Yeah, oh, cool. I forgot to go this morning.
Eric - They're very small, but they're actually very strong.
Chef Wolfgang - Yeah, yeah, it's good because it's got that concentrated flavor.
Eric - Yep.
Chef Wolfgang - Excellent. My favorite chicken pot pie and a warm chocolate cake. I mean, life is good.
Eric - See, I wasn't lying to you. I told you that was Chef Wolfgang's favorite dish I served.
Gary - Yes. So the one thing is also like I explained to you earlier, Chef Wolfgang takes a lot of pride to cook for people. Like I mentioned, Chef, he said, we not just cook for ourselves to just every cook, we cook personally. When Chef cooked for the Oscars or for the Academy Award, for anything... He gets phone calls from people and say, "Hey Chef, are you going to make the pot pie for us, are you going to make the mac and cheese?" And I hope Mr. Volker sets up another class so we can show you how to make that.
Chef Wolfgang - You know, it's funny that you mention Academy Awards. Each time I see Barbara Streisand, and I'm sure some of you are as old as me, who knows, because if I ask my 15 year old about Barbara Streisand, he says, "Barbara who?" He knows Kendrick Lamar and all these guys, but not Barbara Streisand. Barbara Streisand, like when I see her in the restaurant, and we talk about the chicken pot pie because she loves it. She says, "You know, I'm coming. As long as you make the chicken pot pie, I will be often in there." So, it's her favorite and so many of our guests really enjoy the chicken pot pie. When we put it on at the Bel-Air Hotel like for the winter months more, like now in the summer we have fried chicken, and in the winter we do a chicken pot pie, and it's everybody's favorite. And my son Oliver loves it. I bring it at home and he cooks it in the oven and he thought he made it, so it's really... So now you know all our story, and forget about this. If I bring the warm chocolate, cold cake home Oliver would go in the refrigerator, take out the whipped cream, and make whipped cream and then eat his chocolate cake. And I said, okay, we're going to share it because I only bring two home. He said, "Okay, Dad." By the time I turn around he says, "Oh, Papa, there's nothing left."
Eric - Yeah. It's always a pleasure. So you can see also as well. I mean, I took my pot pie out, I put a towel underneath the counter because I wanted to make sure nothing gets hurt and everything, and people can see in the kitchen, when you see a towel on the counter and a sheet pan on top, everybody knows it's hot. And we always put also a spoon on the corner, so everybody knows, hey watch this, it's hot. So we constantly communicate with each other. So Chef, are you going to make me-
Chef Wolfgang - Put it right here. Put it right in front of me.
Eric - You can see like, how nice it is, beautiful.
Chef Wolfgang - I like when it's the nice brown color, because that's really important. The puff pastry, any kind of dough. If you cook it really brown, it has so much more flavor, so. I can hear it. It's perfectly cooked. And the steam coming out, and what is so great with that, you don't even need bread. May you give me a clean towel?
Eric - Yes, Chef.
Chef Wolfgang - You don't need bread, you have the puff pastry. Ooh, look at that. Steaming hot. Now I need a glass of Austrian white wine, and then I will be okay.
Eric - Perfect, Chef.
Chef Wolfgang - Or maybe an Alsatian because you are here.
Eric - And we also have Volker from Germany, so maybe we have a German Riesling.
Chef Wolfgang - Oh, no, no, no German, no German, only Austrian.
Volker - Too sweet, that Riesling. Yeah. Alsatian...
Eric - We'll have to get the Austrian.
Volker - Chef Eric, you passed the test.
Eric - I hope so. I hope I have a job tomorrow.
Chef Wolfgang - You know, as they say in Alsace.
Eric - Wonderful. It is fascinating. Chef Gary, do you want to plate your dessert? I think they're excited to see the inside. I think we left the chocolate resting off, so it crystallized back in there.
Chef Wolfgang - Hold on, let me head out of the way a little bit.
Gary - Oh, you can stay here, Chef.
Eric - You can stay, Chef. We'd love to have you over here.
Gary - All right. So to un-mold the cake, you can really go like up and down, but that's not something I recommend because it's always risky and you don't want to ruin it. So a little trick is to put your plate upside down. The cake is right here on top, and then you just flip the whole thing so this way it's easy to control the cake.
Chef Wolfgang - Oh, it came out beautiful. What did you put in, the spray?
Gary - A little spritz, yeah, for the magic. And then I'm going to dress it with a few strawberries around the plate. Like that. And then I have my whipped cream ready right here. So of course, if you want to serve it right away, it's a good time to put the whipped cream because it's going to melt lightly. If you want to serve it a little bit later, you can always put the whipped cream on the side or in a different bowl and just go for it. There you go. And then you have a beautiful chocolate lava cake.
Eric - All right. Now let's see the inside if the lava comes out.
Gary - All right, let's see. Moments of truth.
Eric - There you go.
Chef Wolfgang - Oh, look at that. Perfect, oh my God, look at that.
Suzie - Looks delicious.
Eric - Yup.
Chef Wolfgang - It smells even better. I can't wait to taste it myself.
Eric - I'm going to test it right now.
Volker - We wish we could join you.
Gary - The pot pie is really good. I know I have two, four, six still left here, so I'm not worried about the chocolate cake. Even Eric will eat three of them, but there's still one left for me.
Eric - In the future, what we can do, if you guys want to do some cooking demo, we can maybe put everything in a box and ship it to you guys and you guys can taste exactly the way we made it and follow directions so you have like one on one, is something we can work with you guys to do, so you can taste it not only same time. So you don't have to worry going to the grocery store or buy anything, we can basically ship it to you.
Suzie - Sounds good, chefs. This is great.
Eric - Yep.
Chef Wolfgang - Delicious. I hope everybody going to make it at home.
Eric - I'll send them the recipe-
Chef Wolfgang - And I just hope they're still going to be able to cook at the bank because they're going to all cook their own food there, and that will be it for us. And I would have to become a bank guy, and that's not a good idea.
Volker - We're all coming to Spago, that's all right.
Chef Wolfgang - Chef, tell him, we just re-opened Chinois now, yes?
Volker - Yeah, Chinois tonight.
Chef Wolfgang - Yeah, a brand new menu I think, you know, it's exciting.
Volker - Some old ones coming back.
Chef Wolfgang - The Chef called me last night and he's excited, and he's like, "Oh, I made this, and I made so many different dishes." And he's excited. You know, this is fascinating with us, and I'm not saying that because Chef is here. Being so many years in the business and constantly reinventing itself, but one thing never changed. Is our identity, the quality we stand for, and who we are. And this is the most important thing. So, same as you, same as us. We know what we are, we know what we do. And we love the customer, and we give them always great hospitality. - Yeah, I would have brought Barbra Streisand with me, but I forgot about the chicken pot pie.
Volker- Yeah. Wonderful.
Chef Wolfgang - She'd much rather play test the chicken pot pie than her husband, I know.
Eric - Okay, well. Wonderful. Is there any more questions we can answer to you? What's the time we have left?
Suzie - We got a lot of questions, but a lot of people want to thank you for your time. Everyone enjoyed watching you making do it, cooking and watching the chef eating it right now. So they're all asking if you will be... Well, thank you so much for your time. We all appreciate it. And for your wonderful cooking demonstration and for the wonderful surprise from Chef Wolfgang Puck, we really appreciate your presence with us today.
Chef Wolfgang - I would like to thank you too, because I was saying, you are really one of our favorite customers. And we'd love it because from Volker to the CEO, everybody loves food and everybody is excited when we do something. So I think it's great to have customers like you and to work with people like you. So for me and for Eric and Gary and everybody, you know, we are in the hospitality business, just like you guys are. When people come into a bank or into a restaurant, we want to make when they leave, that they come back. So that's really our main aim. So hopefully we can do another class like that.
Suzie - Thank you so much. And once again, we appreciate your time and taking the time with us and showing us this wonderful cooking demonstration. I'm sure all of our audience is excited to try everything you have made at their own home. With that, I wanted to remind everyone this session was recorded and the playback will be available on our website. A follow up email will be sent to everyone and we will include recipes from today's cooking demo. We want to thank everyone for attending today. By attending, you are automatically entered into our random drawing and we will contact winners via email tomorrow. Please visit our website firstrepublic.com for a schedule for our upcoming webinars. Thank you everyone and be well, goodbye!
Gary - Thank you!
Eric - Thank you! Stay safe.
Volker - Goodbye, thank you.