A pastry chef who runs his own restaurant (the Michelin-starred Het Gebaar in Belgium), van Damme spent a number of years traveling back and forth to Spain to soak up technical inspiration from the likes of Albert Adrià and Jordi Roca. This large, handsome book, which offers detailed recipes and helpful step-by-step photographic instruction, conveys some of that same creative energy to professional pastry cooks. Chef van Damme's pastry skills are put to work combining playful inspiration with dramatic presentation in dishes such as Soleil, in which a dozen different separately prepared elements are composed into a beautiful circular dessert that includes a mango gelée, passion fruit crémeux, white chocolate crisp, and almond mousse. Just as eye-catching is Figs, which employs puff pastry, chocolate friand, hazelnut crunch, pistachio ice cream, fig coulis, fig preserves, and fresh figs. Not only does the book offer all this inspiration, but the many components of the different desserts can easily be adapted for other uses.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout. 384 pages.