Checking In With Pastry Chef Annika Loureiro
Sweets run in her genes
What do you love most about your job, and working where you do?
Working with Chef Brandon Sharp is a gift. Learning from his style and having a palate like his around me has improved my cooking, and helped me gain confidence in what I do.
Describe your baking philosophy.
There is no waste in our kitchen, every part of anything that goes through is utilized. For example: a sliced fresh apple may be tossed in sugar and spices and used on a plate, while it’s core is cooked down with its peels and made into a puree, which is then used to make a gummy candy. I like to serve everything on the same plate, so every component becomes a respectful reflection of the original fruit.
What are some of the menu items you’re most proud of, and why?
My ice cream. My grandfather ran an ice cream shop and so did my uncle growing up. I know milk is mostly for feeding babies, but I believe its truer purpose is to make ice cream.
What are your favorite ingredients to cook with?
Generally, spirits. They rush your system and flush your face, leaving you giddy and forever burned into your memory. An extract is a tincture is a liquor. A full bar provides a chef with a kaleidoscope of flavors.
What culinary trends do you see, based on what your customers are ordering?
People like something different, an experience, a story. No one is coming to eat at the historic hotel for a quick bite. They are here to remember something special, and I’m ready to deliver on that.
Chapel Hill’s a fun town. How do you like spend your downtime?
I enjoy taking scenic walks with my German Shepherd Lady Bug. There are many deer in Chapel hill, and we have managed to come very close to them. I think they can tell we mean well, and I generally offer them dog treats. (Maybe I should bake deer treats.)