It’s almost impossible to slow down Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes long enough for a quick interview about all the new desserts for California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, but we managed to get a peek at what he and his artistic team have been creating.
“You’re going to see a big change with some new concepts,” says Chef Jeff. “This is our chance to create a new menu with a fresh infusion of California, and it’s coming together nicely.”
The theme is “artful and playful,” he continues. Chef Jeff, Chef de Cuisine Brian Piasecki and Area Manager Michael Schiefler have already done three tastings, each time carefully analyzing components of each sweet.
Let’s start with the bread. “We have created two fabulous new breads just for California Grill,” says Chef Jeff. One is a whole-grain sourdough roll from a starter the Contemporary Bakery, the other lavender-infused focaccia, made with fresh California lavender, olive oil and other herbs. Imagine!
Chef Jeff’s favorite dessert is the Sundae Sampler, a trio with a Coke float, strawberry sundae and caramel corn sundae, “too good and tempting to have such great flavors on one plate,” he says. The chocolate pudding cake and banana fritters is a close second, made with a 70 percent dark chocolate from Belgium, new on the market.
“And I can’t forget the Meyer Lemon cheesecake – so light and refreshing,” says Chef Jeff.
Just remember to save room for dessert when the California Grill reopens this fall. Stay tuned for details – we’ll let you know when reservations are open.