Portraits

Meet The Chef - Mitzi Reyes

In the Meet The Chef series, discover a Cercle V chef, learning their background, inspirations, and ideas. Enjoy the in-depth Q&A with each chef along with an exclusive recipe.

MEET THE CHEF

Chef Mitzi Reyes
Chef Mitzi Reyes is the Head Pastry Chef at the SLS Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills. Reyes recently made her return to the hotel in April 2018 after serving as Sous Chef at Dominique Ansel Bakery in Los Angeles and rising through the ranks of pastry for SLS Beverly Hills' six venues, including The Bazaar by José Andrés, Tres by José Andrés, and in-room dining. Reyes received her degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles and currently boasts over ten years of culinary experience – from fine dining to pastry – which she exhibits through her artful work at the SLS.

Q&A

Valrhona: What inspired you to enter the world of pastry?
Mitzi Reyes: The precision! Everything needs to be precise. Respect the time and understand the science behind everything.

Valrhona: Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
Mitzi Reyes: From everywhere! Memories, colors, culture, favorite things to eat, but mostly memories anything that will remind me of growing up or family.

Valrhona: How is your team responding to the new realities of the world during and eventually post-COVID-19?
Mitzi Reyes: It's been a hard year for sure and my whole team is not back quite yet. My sous and I are the only ones back and it's challenging, but we keep on pushing forward and give our best.

Valrhona: What are your hopes for the future of the world of food and pastry?
Mitzi Reyes: More chefs, pastry chefs, and cooks working together or collaborating in more stuff, supporting each other more. Together we can do so much more!

Valrhona: What is your earliest dessert memory?
Mitzi Reyes: Growing up my mom used to make chocolate Rice Krispy treats and till today it's my favorite thing ever. I would eat so many when little that my mom had to hide them on top of the fridge where I couldn’t reach.


Valrhona: If you could pass one bit of insight down to a chef just getting their start, what would it be?
Mitzi Reyes: Learn something new every day! You can't ever stop learning and be open, everyone knows something you don’t.

Valrhona: What is your favorite perk of the Cercle V program?
Mitzi Reyes: Getting to try all the new products! So much fun to get to play with them!

QUICK FIRE

Valrhona: Celsius or Fahrenheit?
Mitzi Reyes: Celsius

Valrhona: Favorite Valrhona Chocolate?
Mitzi Reyes: Bahibé. It's just something soooo beautiful about it, smooth but yet not too sweet milk.

Valrhona: Favorite flavor pairing with chocolate?
Mitzi Reyes: Coffee, almonds, spices, dulce de leche

Valrhona: Go to snack?
Mitzi Reyes: Cheeses and chocolate :D

Valrhona: Coffee or tea?
Mitzi Reyes: Tea

Valrhona: Favorite kitchen tool?
Mitzi Reyes: Bowl scraper

Valrhona: Favorite type of dessert to make? To eat?
Mitzi Reyes: Can't go wrong with a delicious chocolate cake. Also, it's all I craved while pregnant.

 

Exclusive Recipe

Cuatro Leches
Cuatro Leches Cake

INGREDIENTS

Cake
113g Salted butter (room temperature)
200g Sugar
5 ea Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
180g All-purpose flour
5 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Salt

Milk Soaking
500g Milk
340g Evaporated Milk
190g Condensed Milk

Vanilla Chantilly
375g IVOIRE 35%
750g Cream
7g Gelatin

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Cake

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add eggs one by one.
  3. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Sift dry ingredients and add to butter and egg mix.
  5. Bake in sheet tray at 300 °F.

Milk Soaking

  1. Mix all the milk and blend.

Vanilla Chantilly

  1. Bloom gelatin.
  2. Heat up cream, add gelatin.
  3. Take the liquid and pour over the chocolate and blend.
  4. The next day, whip chantilly and using a #802 tip, pipe dots on top of acetate sheets forming a flower. Top with another acetate sheet and gently press to make it flat on both sizes. Freeze and top with freeze-dried raspberry powder.

 

ASSEMBLY & FINISHING

Cut cake with a 50mm cutter.
Finish with fresh raspberry and strawberry pieces. 
Place cake on a plate with chopped toasted and salted Marcona almonds. Pour more milk mixture and top with chantilly flowers.

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