Russell Van Kraayenburg

chasing delicious

We know Russell Krayenburg’s blog is called Chasing Delicious, but it seems that delicious simply follows him wherever he goes. You’ll be hard pressed to find a recipe on Krayenburg’s website that’s anything short of irresistible, not to mention mouth-watering. Whether its strawberry basil eclairs or bourbon and chocolate cupcakes, Krayenburg manages to defy all assumptions about dessert. In other words, he takes a great dessert and then he takes it even further, which is what great food is all about. We couldnt help but sit down with this deliciousness guru for an Epicurean’s Questionnaire and some amazing recipes. If you didn’t have a sweet tooth, you’re about to develop one.

Describe your ideal food day…

A leisurely day spent in the kitchen enjoying the idyllic aromas of slow simmering soup and a fermenting yeast dough, the little tastes of a constantly evolving dish and the temptation of a freshly frosted cake sitting on a counter. I love getting to spend all day in the kitchen reading a book or some of my favorite blogs, only being interrupted by the needs of whatever dishes I happen to be working on that day.

What’s your drink?

Coffee! I drink it. I put it in chocolate cake. I turn it into ice cream. I eat chocolate covered espresso beans. In fact, I’m drinking coffee as we speak.

What would your last meal be?

I’m going to be greedy and ask for a sampling of some of my favorite dishes from different cuisines all over the world. I don’t think I’d be happy with just one dish for a last meal. Oh and a big chocolate cake!

How do you start your day?

I start my morning with a big cup of coffee – sometimes black tea – and aimlessly wander around my garden. If there is leftover dessert from the night before, I’ll help myself to a big slice of that too.

Favorite place to travel for food?

While I have been lucky to travel to some amazing food cities around the world, my favorite place to find good food is around my own city of Houston, Texas. I love venturing in to neighborhoods I haven’t visited before, trying to find those hole-in-wall, mom-and-pop-are-in-the-kitchen eateries.

Favorite places to go for dessert?

I don’t want to sound cocky but my favorite place for dessert is my kitchen. I love to pair new and strange flavors together in desserts and often the only place I can find that is in my kitchen.

What ingredient do you consider overrated?

Vanilla. Don’t get me wrong. I adore vanilla. But ninety percent of the desserts I come across rely on this overused classic as the sole flavoring in the recipe. There are so many great ingredients you can use to flavor baked goods. Why rely on just one?

What ingredient are you convinced makes everything better?

I’m going to have to be unoriginal here and proclaim my love for butter. I use copious amounts of it in everything I bake and even though I primarily use olive oil in cooking, I still find myself adding a pad of butter or two for good measure.

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