Helen Vass presents “Dulce” - the pop-up dessert restaurant in London
Helen Vass, the young talented Scottish pastry chef from Glasgow, known to us also as a part of the winning team of the Bake Off: Creme de la Creme, creates fantastic desserts. We already know this (we interviewed her last year here). The great news is that she is coming to London for a two day desserts pop-up which I am sure you don’t want to miss. It will take place on 14th and 15th February and we asked Helen to tell us more about it:
“I have ran several successful dessert pop-ups in both Glasgow and Edinburgh and people from London have also been asking me to do one in their city, so it has been on my “to do” list for a while. I thought Valentine’s Day was an ideal moment for people to do something different, however, this pop up will not be focused on love and romance, but good fun and social dining so people who come on their own, won’t feel left out.”
What is the main idea/concept behind it?
“I was inspired by Espai Sucre in Barcelona, which is a pastry school and had a dessert restaurant. Having eaten a dessert menu there and having taken a course at the school, I thought that it was a concept which could work well on a pop-up basis as it is a very niche product. It is also a chance for me to go out and to show my work and also demonstrate that it is possible to have a balanced dessert menu without a sugar high at the end of it!”
What was the greatest challenge in organising this event?
“Probably the hardest part was the menu - I don’t want to repeat dishes that I have done in my previous pop ups. Another is sourcing the right wines. I chose Spanish wines which I imported for the event myself, but obviously I only chose wines that I know to be of a good quality and which will pair well with the menu. Another challenge is that I am based in Scotland, so I don’t know London that well. It is also not easy cooking in another kitchen where you don’t know where things are stored! However, the people at the venue where I am doing the pop up have been a great help.”
What will be served?
“The menu is a secret - I want it to be a surprise for the guests! One phrase my former employer Christian Escribà used to say to us in the kitchen was that patisserie should surprise, excite and create a unique moment. This is something that is important for me in the pop-ups. All I can say is: I will be serving an amouse bouche followed by three desserts and wines. There will be a white wine from the Penedes region, a red wine from the Ribera del Duero and a Cava Brut Nature from Catalonia.
What role will chocolate have in the menu?
“Chocolate will be present in the menu in most of the desserts but in different ways. In some of them it will be the main element and in others it will be only a garnish.”
Which chocolate will you be using for your desserts?
“In the amouse bouche, I will be using Cacao Barry Milk Couverture Alunga because it has a beautiful cocoa flavour whilst still being a milk chocolate. I will also be using Cacao Barry Zephyr white chocolate as it is not too sweet and will go perfectly with one of the desserts. Also Cacao Barry Plantation couverture Madirofolo will be there - it will go really well with another creation. There is always a chocolate in the range that meets my needs.”
Are you planning any other events for the future? What else are you working on?
“At the moment I am just taking each day at a time. I am still working at Number 16 restaurant in Glasgow as well as doing pop ups, demos etc. I will be at the Hospitality Industry Trust Emerging Talent Conference on the 9th February doing a chocolate demo and a presentation about how I turned pastry from a hobby into a career. The main audience will be the hospitality students who are the future of our industry. Next month I am also going to a chocolate course with USA Cacao Barry Ambassador, Melissa Coppel, at the Chocolate Academy in Vic, which I can’t wait for! Her work is so inspiring! I will travel to Barcelona in March doing a demo and presentation to pastry students at their Gastroforum in the Escola Joviat. I still like to maintain my relations in Barcelona within the pastry context because it’s where I get a lot of my inspiration to bring back to Scotland.”
The tickets for Helen Vass’ pop-up are available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dulce-by-helen-vass-pop-up-dessert-restaurant-london-tickets-31562149238