Listen as Kitty speaks with Daniel Benjamin of lucettegrace.
Daniel tells Kitty:
“I decided to pair our newest dessert, we just got on our menu not too long ago while trying to prepare for fall – which is probably my favorite time of year. The dessert is, one of my staff named it Golden Delicious – there’s actually no Golden Delicious Apples in it but, there’s a base that’s made of pecan cake. It’s an old traditional meringue cake that after we bake it we break it up into little pieces and dry it out so it’s very crunchy, mixed together with this special blonde chocolate – that is kind of like a caramelized white chocolate that has tiniest little bit of licorice flavor to it and a pecan praline taste. So think of a Nutella type of flavor but with pecans. Then, inside of that we take a mixture of three different kinds of local apples that are cooked three different ways that are combined……”
“I thought about it a lot and it’s one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists. The song is “Madame George” by Van Morrison. For me I don’t think there’s any artist that personifies Autumn more than Van Morrison. I just think it’s perfect for fall. I just think about Sunday, maybe I left early or took the day off, and it’s cool enough that I have all the windows open. There’s that cool crispness to the air and maybe someone in the neighborhood is burning some leaves and you’ve got a fire going and maybe you’re sipping wine or some whiskey and having a great time. My oldest daughter loves to cook with me, my youngest daughter loves to come to the kitchen and dance while we cook and listening to Van Morrison preparing a family dinner together.”
The team behind lucettegrace is led by pastry chef/owner Daniel Benjamin. Born and raised in Valparaiso, Indiana; his route to Raleigh was not direct, but rather a journey of winding roads taking him from coast to coast and back again. Pursuing his craft like a quest, Benjamin went to work for some of the country’s best pastry chefs in NYC, Florida, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. lucettegrace is the next chapter for a pastry chef who has spent the last 15 years in some of the finest kitchens across America. With roots firmly planted in the City of Oaks, Daniel Benjamin creates a style of pastry built on tradition, but uniquely realized for Raleigh today.