Since joining Four Seasons Hotel Chicago in 2007, Executive Pastry Chef Scott Gerken has been turning desserts and other sweet confections into an art form. With the opening of Allium, Gerken is making desserts that highlight seasonal and regional ingredients.
Gerken, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and International School of Confectionary Arts in Maryland, knows that desserts must look as enticing as they taste divine, and tailors his approach at Allium to focus on both flavor and presentation. "We'll use fruits that are at their best. I'm using chocolate that has bold, complex undertones. I'll be using different spices to enhance flavors as well."
Gerken, who happened into the sweet side by luck—he was asked to fill in for a pastry chef while working at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina—quickly discovered he had a passion for desserts, and pursued further training as a pastry chef. Gerken's knack for creating artful, luscious desserts that bring out the best high quality seasonal ingredients is no accident, but Gerken remains modest: "I am still a work in progress, but I love what I do."