The route from the pastry kitchen at a fine-dining restaurant to an ice cream shop or bakery or maybe both is, you might say, strewn with gold and Valrhona dust. It's also a route that many of this town's best pastry chefs have taken, particularly lately: Sherry Yard, Karen Hatfield and Zoe Nathan, to name a few. Now John Park, lately pastry chef at Lukshon and Father's Office, and before that at the pastry kitchens of Providence, XIV and Water Grill, has traded plated desserts for ice cream cones. Lucky us. Park will open Quenelle, an ice cream and pastry shop, in Burbank in the next two or three weeks.
The Los Angeles native, who was born, raised and culinary school-trained here, left Lukshon, where he'd orchestrated an ice cream bar, in March to open his own place. Park described the new project as "a recent idea" but went on to say, "Ice cream has always been my thing. Trying to achieve the perfect balance of creaminess, density, flavor. Hopefully people will notice the difference in our product once we actually open."
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Park says his shop will focus on ice creams, gelato, frozen yogurt, ice cream sandwiches, bonbons and popsicles -- including his take on a classic rocket pop, a sour cherry, kaffir lime and blue-raspberry sorbet bar. The pastry chef will be baking, too, with many pastries and cookies on the menu as well.
Look for many toppings to pair with all the stuff in the freezers. And check out Park's progress, including the unloading of the gadgets, the gradual evolution of flooring and wiring, the literal signs on the walls, at Quenelle's Facebook page. Not bad timing, permits permitting: L.A. apparently is due for a heat wave in the next few days. Not that we need any excuse to eat gelato.
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