In recent months, we've become quite enamored of pastry chef Cesar Bermudez Cifuentes, and particularly of his beautiful pastries and desserts at Röckenwagner Cafe. Cifuentes has been acting as pastry chef at Röckenwagner, and also has been running a tapas pop-up in the evenings at 3 Square Cafe called Le Sal. But he's leaving L.A. behind in the next few weeks, returning to his native Spain to pursue some "new professional projects" there.
Cifuentes came to Los Angeles a few years back to work at Jose Andres' Bazaar at the SLS Hotel. Prior to that, he had worked as a pastry chef in Europe for many years, including a stint at Ferran Adria's El Bulli. He spent some time as pastry chef at Flores in its original incarnation before moving on to Röckenwagner.
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At Röckenwagner, he delivered classic, complex, European-style pastries and desserts: eclaires and bombes and tortes, Tropeziennes and raspberry almond cream tarts that were as beautiful to look at as they were delicious.
When asked if we'd see a change in the desserts at Röckenwagner, Cifuentes said, "I’m pretty sure the pastry team can handle the production using my recipes and the systems in place." So it sounds like maybe we'll get to taste his influence even after he's gone. He also says, given his many ties in L.A., "Who knows what will happen in a few months?"