Only 44 days are left until our 9th annual Gingerbread Benefit! Our office is filled with busy little elves preparing for the holiday event who are getting more excited minute by minute! Of course, we can’t have a Gingerbread Benefit without gingerbread houses and we are honored that some of the area’s top pastry chefs have agreed to participate this year. In fact, we’re so thrilled that we’d like to offer you a little preview of what’s to come, and share the masterminds behind the masterpieces of the Gingerbread Benefit.
Meet Daniel Benjamin of Herons Restaurant at the Umstead Hotel and Spa
Pastry Chef Daniel Benjamin of Herons Restaurant at the Umstead Hotel and Spa
What or who inspired you to become a pastry chef? Who do you look up to in the field? I don’t think I was inspired by any one thing, or person; it just seemed very natural. [I look up to] anyone who doesn’t give up and keeps trying to do better and new things, but can also keep a respect for things from the past.
When you start a project do you have a vision or goal in mind, or do you figure it out as you go? I generally do not like to just figure it out as I go. I usually have a vision in my head.
What are your three favorite ingredients to work with?
Smart people with a sarcastic dry sense of humor
Really nice fruit
Nuts, particularly pecans, pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts
What will the inspiration for your gingerbread house be? At this point in time I think I will be making a “tree house” I have a vision of it in my head finished, but am not sure how my team and I will build it.
When do you feel most rewarded for your work?I feel rewarded when I get to see people eat our creations and they make that face that says, “This is really good,” and then you see them make the person they are with taste it too.
The 9th annual Gingerbread Benefit is to be held on December 1, 2011 at the Umstead Hotel and Spa. Tickets for the event are available online at https://tfsnc.org/index.php/gingerbread-benefit/purchase-tickets-online
Buy now–before the event sells out!
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