Eating & Drinking

Make your own Aero bar? Longtime Ottawa chef Adam Cenaiko shows how — on his blog

Adam Cenaiko is a man on a mission to demystify the art of the great dessert.

The longtime pastry chef, who recently went solo after spending the past three years at the Fairmont Château Laurier, makes surfing the web a mouthwatering pastime, with a new blog in which he shares simplified versions of his favourite recipes.

In an industry notorious for secrecy, it’s surprising to find a pastry chef willing to disclose his best recipes, food experiments, and cookbooks, but Cenaiko says it’s fun to share his know-how.

In each post, he tells the reader a bit about the background to a beloved recipe, then includes the recipe with detailed steps and pictures. His wife, Anne-Marie, looks over each post and helps him to simplify. “Even if a certain recipe is a bit complicated, I try to figure out ways to make it non-intimidating.”

Like making homemade Aero bars, that beloved candy bar elevated by bubbles.

We’re looking forward to trying Cenaiko’s nifty trick to aerate chocolate, thus making our own. “It’s actually not that hard to do, but it’s really impressive!”

What’s he up to now? Planning a few of his own projects — perhaps you’ll soon see him selling his wares at farmers’ market near you.

City Bites Hot Tip: Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of each post, where Cenaiko includes a YouTube link to a recommended tune to listen to while baking. Examples: He matches The Beatle’s Strawberry Fields with his strawberries and cream trifle, while a tune by garage rock band The Chocolate Watchband ties in with his tutorial on aerating chocolate. “I collect vinyl,” he explains. “so connecting to music I was playing or thinking about while I was recipe testing just adds a fun layer to the post.”

City Bites Hot Tip #2: Cenaiko was at the Château Laurier for three years and was at the Rideau Club for the three years before that. Got any favourite desserts from either place? Try pitching him to post the recipes to his blog!