The Culinary Berry: Chef Vitaly Paley’s Delicious Desserts
Chef Vitaly Paley knows a thing or two about Oregon berries! His intimate (50 seat) restaurant Paley’s Place, in northwest Portland, regularly showcases the local bounty of the Pacific Northwest, including Marionberries, raspberries and many of the exotic blackberry cultivars like Tayberry and Ollalieberry. Chef Paley rose to the occasion a number of years ago when the Oregon Raspberry & Blackberry Commission brought six of the nation’s finest food editors to enjoy his cuisine during the height of berry season. They enjoyed many wonderful and exotic variations of recipes with berries and were delighted with the gift of homemade berry lollipops, which were so tasty they never made it home.
Chef Paley along with his lovely wife Kimberly opened Paley’s Place in February 1995. His cuisine has focused on local, organic and sustainable foods since that time to rave revues from the New York Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the Oregonian. In 2007, the Portland Monthly named Paley’s Place one of Portland’s Top Ten Restaurants.
The desserts at Paley’s Place are the creation of Pastry Chef, Lauren Dawson Fortgang. Lauren came to cooking early, when she decided to become a vegetarian as a teenager. Her mother, not interested in making separate meals, insisted that Lauren do all the cooking involved with her new lifestyle choice. Before long she was off to culinary school at the California Culinary Academy. After an externship at the acclaimed Greens Restaurant, she headed north to cook at one Anchorage’s top bistros, Marx Brothers. From there the big city called and she became pastry cook at the celebrated Craft Restaurant In New York City. After rising to assistant pastry chef at Craft she became pastry chef at Hearth.
The Pacific Northwest is pleased to have such a versatile and creative pastry chef in residence at Paley’s Place.
Our readers will be thrilled that Lauren has consented to share with us two of her luscious creations bursting with juicy Oregon berries, Warm Blackberry Tart and Linzer Bars made with fresh, homemade raspberry jam. So if you can’t get to Paley’s Place for an evening of superb dining, you can whip up some sophisticated berry treats for a spectacular finish to your own gourmet meal.