Breast milk in desserts? Samm Sherman, pastry chef of Linger and Root Down, says her "freezer is stocked and ready"

Sammlinger1.jpg
Lori Midson

Samm Sherman
Linger
2030 West 30th Avenue
303-993-3120
lingerdenver.com

Root Down
1600 West 33rd Avenue
8500 Peña Boulevard (DIA)
303-993-4200
rootdowndenver.com

This is part one of my interview with Samm Sherman, pastry chef of Root Down and Linger; part two of my chat with Sherman will run tomorrow.

It was the pot au chocolat that changed Samm Sherman's life. She was a student at the University of Colorado and working the front of the house at the now-closed Bloom when a friend offered to take her to lunch. They went to the Kitchen in Boulder and ordered the restaurant's pot au chocolat -- a sugar high, says Sherman, that sunk in. "I don't remember anything I ate except for that dessert, but it was completely magical, and that's when I had the realization that there existed something more than starters and entrees -- that dessert could be really special," recalls the native of Tucson, now the pastry chef at Linger and both Root Down locations.

See also: First look: Root Down at DIA

She started creating desserts at CU, too, while surviving a sorority house. "I needed an escape, so I always retreated to the kitchen to bake, and the more I did it, the more I realized that baking was something that I really loved," says Sherman, who originally wanted to design wedding cakes but whose lack of experience was a roadblock. "I thought that wedding cakes would be my deal, but I didn't have the experience, so I moved to California to go to the Culinary Institute of America," says Sherman, confessing, too, that plated desserts -- not wedding cakes -- became her focus. "Maybe someday I'll do wedding cakes, but there's something about plated desserts that I love. It's the last thing you eat, and I like the pressure of making sure it's a great experience," she notes.

Pastry certificate in hand, along with enviable stages that included stints at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville and San Francisco's Tartine Bakery, Sherman returned to Denver in 2009 and secured a position at WaterCourse Bakery. The plan, she says, was to stay in Denver for a year -- a promise she made to her boyfriend, now her husband -- and then explore opportunities in other cities, namely New York and Seattle, where she had job prospects. "I made my boyfriend stay in California for a year, and since he gave me a year there, I said I'd give him a year in Denver, but I wasn't planning to stay any longer than that," admits Sherman.

But on a whim, she submitted a résumé to Root Down, and after an interview and a stage, she suddenly found herself on the schedule, but she wasn't hired to do pastries. "I was working pantry and I got to plate desserts, but I wasn't doing any production," she says. Still, she was persistent, coming in on her days off to assist the then-pastry chef, and when that person left, Sherman says, she was offered the job...by default. "I just kind of walked into it, but I'm still here and going strong, and I don't see myself leaving anytime soon.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
44 comments
Merréll Barry O'Brian
Merréll Barry O'Brian

I make a sperm dick cheese cake that is to DIE for! That's about the reaction I get from this shit! Breast milk in the food? That's fucking nasty!!

Manny Rodrigues III
Manny Rodrigues III

I'm in complete agreement with her assessment on bacon in desserts. I really enjoy bacon and who doesn't other than those with a religious aversion to cured pork belly? However, if it becomes a ubiquitous ingredient it loses its special quality as something simply delicious when it winds up in everything from cocktails to desserts.

SonofaSpurrier
SonofaSpurrier

Dumb headline, thanks for nothing, sorry I clicked through.

Jeff Cornetet
Jeff Cornetet

Yep, bad headline... I just hope it's a corn fed lady, maybe even a purely high fructose corn syrup diet. ;-) If we started consuming human milk as a delicacy, people might think about how screwed up drinking so much cow's milk is (cow milk is potent enough to make a calf gain 200 lbs in a couple of months...and beyond!). I love my milk and dairy products, but it's still somewhat disturbing to me that we predominantly drink *other* animals' "baby" food our entire lives.

Stephenie Falcone
Stephenie Falcone

I don't know what's worse, that you used her joke as a misleading headline or that SO MANY PEOPLE didn't read the article before making stupid comments, this poor woman!

Eric J. Blommel
Eric J. Blommel

Public health risk. Human diseases are much more apt to propagate that way. Very few cow diseases affect humans, and the ones that could are killed in the pasteurization process. That won't work with human milk because of viruses. HIV, anyone?

Eric J. Blommel
Eric J. Blommel

Um... there's the whole public health risk thing with human bodily fluids. "Yes, I'd like my tiramisu with a side of HIV, please."

Lyn Wheaton
Lyn Wheaton

Good story - bad headline. I understand "The grab" but if you don't read the article , could be very detrimental for two great restaurants. I immediately assumed the worst and on FB many people just read headlines for their, info. Scary , but true.

rickstigator
rickstigator

I'll have my dessert to go.  Breast milk gives me a boner.

Lisa Brooks
Lisa Brooks

hope that's clearly stated on the menu

LindaLee Law
LindaLee Law

You are putting it in dessert when there are babies who need it? I guess I will have my dessert elsewhere NOthing is sacred these days and for shame on women who walk down this path

Peace Will Win
Peace Will Win

we don't draw theline with non food in food, that causes cancer, why not!

Samm Sherman
Samm Sherman

Just to clarify, I have not used breast milk in dessert (yet) as it is still being utilized as the main course

Steve Florentine
Steve Florentine

Man I bet this lady is pissed off that you chose to title this that!!! Ha that was one joking answer out of the whole interview.

Heaven Northrop
Heaven Northrop

That is hilarious when I was breastfeed my friend and I used to joke about making breast cheese!! LMAO

Kelly Watts
Kelly Watts

Most people wouldn't walk out to a field and hunker down for a nice mouthful of cow udder. Perspective. It is everything.

Kelly Watts
Kelly Watts

Why is one mammal's breast milk any more objectionable than another's? So many people consume cow's milk, but human milk is off limits and gross? Consuming the lactation of another species is just fine for a good portion of the population. Gross on both accounts.

Andrew Villegas
Andrew Villegas

I'm not trying to be critical, but hed and little blurb on FB makes it seems like she's doing it, but she's not.

Ryan Darling
Ryan Darling

ahh the "edgy" pursuits of hipster "chefs"

Barbara Calder
Barbara Calder

During the mid 90's, when I was a pastry chef at a Walt Disney World Hotel restaurant, my co-workers often made fun of me because I had to take my lunch to pump breast milk. If I did not, I wore the darn stuff down my chef jacket. I made a cajeta mousse and (goats milk) and it was joked that I used my milk.I nursed all 3 children until they were over 5 years old!

HotSkillet
HotSkillet

@Andrew Villegas The question mark after the first sentence in the headline indicates that she's raising the question of breast milk in desserts, not actually using it in her desserts!

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...