Haute Eating: 10 Questions for Pastry Goddess Anne Thornton

Who doesn’t love desserts? And if you’re so inclined to bake (or you simply have a sweet tooth) then you’ll want to tune into a new cooking show that recently launched (Oct. 24) on Food Network: Dessert First with Anne Thornton. Newcomer Anne Thornton (she’s worked as a pastry chef at Waverly Inn and Hotel Griffou) demystifies and simplifies the world of pastry and dessert by showing viewers the “ins and outs to no‐fear baking.”

Thornton attended the Institute of Culinary Education, but it was her grandmother, Nonnie, who she credits as her true culinary inspiration and where she gets her passion for baking. Thornton’s approachable techniques, some of which she undoubtedly learned from her Nonnie, will help home cooks create homespun yet impressive desserts, from salted caramel banana pudding pie to red velvet cupcakes.

Tune in to Dessert First with Anne Thornton on Food Network every Sunday at 12 pm ET/PT & 11am CT to learn how to bake.

Haute Living: What’s have you been doing since you left Hotel Griffou this summer?
Anne Thornton: I’ve been working on my show, Dessert First with Anne Thornton, which just premiered on Food Network.

HL: What are some of your favorite dishes from other Food Network shows?
AT: I love all of Ina Garten’s recipes, savory and sweet. She always uses special ingredients to really brighten the flavors of her dishes. I love her chocolate sauce recipe. She uses a little prepared coffee in the recipe. You can’t taste the coffee but it really enriches the chocolate flavor.

HL: Where do you like to dine when you’re not working?
AT: I’m a huge fan of 6th Street Kitchen. It’s a quaint little restaurant in the East Village that serves high-end comfort food. Their dishes are all things you are familiar with and probably grew up eating, but they are made from the freshest best ingredients and have a slight twist, which makes them really special. I love simple food done well

HL:  What’s your ideal meal?
AT: My ideal meal is more about the people I’m with than the actual food. I love dinner parties with good friends. Simple beautiful food made with local seasonal ingredients and a lot of love. This time of year I’m a sucker for herb roasted organic pork loin, roasted root vegetables, smoked Gouda grits and sweet potato pie with marshmallow meringue.

HL: Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
AT: I celebrate special occasions at The Waverly Inn. I love that restaurant; I worked there and am still really close to the owners and employees, they’re my NYC family. When I’m celebrating I want to be with the ones I love, and fortunately for me they happen to be at an enchanting delicious restaurant right in my neighborhood

HL: What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood?
AT: I’ve lived and worked in the West Village most of my NYC life. It’s my home. Besides being really beautiful it has a provincial vibe in the midst of the big city. I can’t walk down the street without running into countless people I know. It’s great when you can walk into a coffee shop and the barista knows your name and how you take your coffee and you run into a few friends

HL: What do you like to do in the city on your days off?
AT: I love going to the museums and art galleries. I’m a huge fan of the theater and go to shows any time I have the chance, both on and off Broadway.  I love live music, whether I’m in the mood for jazz, blues, rock, or hip-hop there is always a live show in NYC to satisfy my craving. I also love to shop and of course eat, and we have some of the greatest stores and restaurants in the World. New York is magical wonderland.

HL: Your favorite vacation destination?
AT: I love Paris. I love everything about Paris, the food, the art, the architecture, the history, and the fashion. It is by far and away my favorite vacation destination.

HL: What’s your most memorable meal?
AT: My most memorable meal was a breakfast I had with my mother, sister and grandmother in Versailles when I was about 7 years old. We went to a local patisserie and bought everything in site. We brought all of our goodies to a park and shared them relishing in the flaky pastries and divine quiche. It is one of my favorite childhood memories.

HL: What are your five favorite ingredients?
AT: I couldn’t live without; butter, sugar, sea salt, chocolate, and cream.

To contact Tracey Ceurvels, visit her blog, The Busy Hedonist, or email her with any questions.

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