Samm Sherman, pastry chef of Linger and Root Down: "I'm on the doughnut bandwagon"
This is part two of my interview with Samm Sherman, pastry chef of Root Down and Linger; part one of my chat with Sherman ran yesterday.
Your five favorite Denver/Boulder restaurants for sweets and/or pastries other than your own:
The Kitchen, because the pot au chocolat changed my life; ChoLon, because I really like their style, they put a lot of love and thought into their pastries, and everything I've eaten there has been beautiful; the vanilla frozen custard at Good Times, which I discovered while I was pregnant; the Thai boba at New Saigon; and anywhere that has a really good, old-fashioned doughnut. Yes, I'm on the doughnut bandwagon.
Who's the most underrated pastry chef in Denver?
I don't know who's necessarily underrated, but I do know that I have some pretty great people working in my pastry departments right now, and I'm excited to see what they do...but not for a couple more years, please.
What specific requests would you make of Denver diners?
Eat dessert, please, because if you don't, my sweet little baby might not be able to go to college.
Weirdest customer request:
I made a cake for an engagement party a few months ago, and the couple asked for a picture on the cake of the groom lifting the bride over his head; that was strange and challenging.
Best baking tip for a home cook:
Take your food seriously, but don't take yourself too seriously. That's a quote from Justin Cucci.
How does Justin Cucci's menu influence your desserts?
Root Down and Linger's menus greatly influence my own. I really respect all the chefs I work with, and I'm always throwing around ideas with them and asking them to be my taste testers, which is a hard job, but most of the time they're willing to help me out. I want our menus to be one cohesive unit that represents the restaurants, not me or them.
Is having a pastry chef separate from the executive chef important in a restaurant?
I think so, though I may be biased. Pastry chefs usually have a very different personality from the executive chef. I'd like to think that in our kitchens, I'm not just someone in charge of sweets, but a woman who's there to use my feminine magic to balance out some of those crazy boys.