Something Sweet

Three pastry chefs with ties to Washington have new cookbooks on the shelves and the way.

Bill Yosses’s cookbook, a good primer on a range of sweets.

President Obama says White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses makes the best pie around. Now in his new cookbook,The Perfect Finish, Yosses reveals his crust-making secrets (use a mix of butter and lard, avoid aluminum-foil pans, and set the pie on a baking stone). Although you won’t find any Obama-family guilty pleasures—the only mention of anything White House–related is a recipe for Mamie Eisenhower’s chocolate-crusted cheesecake—the book is a detailed and beautifully photographed primer on a range of sweets, from a whimsical take on Devil Dogs to an Asian-inspired trifle with mangosteen, pineapple, and lime yogurt.

Yosses isn’t the only local pastry chef with a new book. In May, CakeLove’s Warren Brown published United Cakes of America, with recipes for Maryland’s many-layered Smith Island cake and a DC-inspired cherry trifle; oddly, the Virginia homage comes in the form of a pineapple upside-down cake.

And this fall, Citronelle chef/owner Michel Richard follows up his hit cookbook, Happy in the Kitchen, with the dessert-focused Sweet Magic.

This article appears in the August 2010 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.