He's 32 years old, he's Spanish, he's the chef and founder of a dessert-only restaurant and since October he's also the best pastry chef according to the LatAm 50 Best Restaurants Awards. He's Jesús Escalera, the former pastry chef at one Michelin-starred Casa Marcelo and three-starred The Fat Duck. He even did his time at the legendary three Michelin-starred elBulli.
In 2013 he opened his first solo project La Postrería in Guadalajara, Mexico. His introduction to the world of gastronomy was a reluctant one when, at 15, he took a summer job in a bakery. The following year he decided to study cooking at the Heliópolis catering school in Seville, while he worked in different restaurants in the city. It was when he began a stage at Hacienda Benazuza that he really began to discover a passion for cooking.
So, what is the secret ingredient that makes his pastry so outstanding? Research and reinvention are the keywords for his desserts, made up of different textures and temperatures, incorporating bitter, smoky and salty flavors. Escalera's belief, in fact, is that a middle world is possible between traditional cuisine, dominated by savory tastes, and pastry, dominated by sugar. He recognizes that he was never passionate about the sweet, but on the dessert section of that kitchen, he realized that he can change the possibilities that the world of sweet could offer. His inspiration comes from nature and most of his desserts recreate natural elements.
At La Postrería you can enjoy a six or a 10 courses menu, and every dessert is served with a pairing wine, infusion or Mexican coffee: the drinks are really a complementary part of the dish and not only a side. Escalera has recently opened La Postrería Taller, where he or other pastry chefs hold courses and masterclasses for the public. A place which is dedicated to the training of professionals in the sweet area, research and development of new techniques, as well as consulting within the areas of pastry, desserts and sweet concepts for different restaurants and projects.
Below, you can enjoy a selection of his amazing desserts.
COCONUT - Coconut ice cream, fresh mango, yuzu iced drops, lime cream, passion fruit jelly, and peppermint
MIL HOJAS ROJA (Red Mille Feuille) - Raspberry acid meringue, beet sorbet, hibiscus, yogurt, and roses.
BOSQUE (Forest) - Eucalyptus icecream, forest fruits, pine tree honey, pistachio crumble, herbs yogurt and flowers.
PONCHE (Fruit Punch Drink) - Traditional Mexican drink. Inside the blown sugar; Mixed iced drops of hibiscus, cinnamon, guava, tejocote, tamarind, pear. Cinnamon sponge cake and ponche soup.
LUNA DE SEVILLA (Seville Moon) - Under the smoked blown sugar moon; orange and orange blossom ice cream, torrija (deep fry brioche, honey, and cinnamon), toasted honey jelly, cinnamon crumble and vanilla cream.
LAGRIMA NEGRA (Black Tear) - Inside the blown sugar tear, chocolate and ginger foam, caramelized sesame, sesame sponge and passion fruit sorbet.
PANAL (Honeycomb) - Frozen honeycomb made with yuzu and honey, toasted honey jelly, honey toffee, caramelized popcorn, lemon peel purée, and rosemary ice cream.
FLOR DE VAINILLA (Vanilla Flower) - Vanilla bean ice cream, cream sponge, vanilla yogurt, vanilla beans made with coffee, red apple, chia, and yogurt wafer.
HOJARASCA (Leaf Litter) - Under the dry autumn leaves; pumpkin cream, spices biscuit, toasted honey ice cream, nuts, and chocolate crumble.
TRADICION (Tradition) - Traditional mexican candy flavors; burned milk icecream, guanábana ate, caramelized sesame and Sayula cajeta.