Hot chef: Rory Macdonald makes light of dessert at Hakkasan

GONY_HotChef_0620
Rory Macdonald says his parents inspired him.
Credit: Bess Adler/Metro

Since opening its doors in April 2012, Midtown’s Hakkasan (311 W. 43rd St., 212-776-1818) has been known for creating premiere Chinese cuisine. One of the unsung heroes of the restaurant is executive pastry chef Rory Macdonald. His array of mouthwatering sweets, from coconut pudding to apple mille feuille, proves that the sweets offered at Hakkasan are much more than an afterthought. We chatted with Macdonald about all things dessert, Hakkasan and more.

When did you discover your love of baking?
It started when I was kid. My parents used to cook a lot so I was always in the kitchen. I’ve always liked cooking generally, but pastries just stood out for me.

What’s your favorite thing from the Hakkasan menu?
We’re just about to change the menu to the summer one and my favorite thing is the strawberries and champagne.

What makes your pastries so special?
We try to make them as interesting as possible without being too crazy. We want to make it blend well with Hakkasan’s food so we try to make it light and clean. Also, we just try to make it look as good as possible because presentation is very important to us. Flavor always comes first, but presentation is important as well.

How does Hakkasan’s Chinese flavor influence your decisions for the dessert menu?
We never try to do fusion foods, but as far as dessert we just try to complement the foods. A lot of Hakkasan’s foods are very spicy and a lot of times people are pretty full, so again we try to make sure the dessert is very light, clean and fresh. We try to keep it so that when you leave you aren’t too full.

Any advice for aspiring chefs?
Always try to improve and never stop learning. The beauty of being a chef is that you can do it for 50 years and still go in and learn something everyday.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.