CUTTING EDGE: The Creative Inspiration Driving Denver’s EDGE Pastry Team
The big winners of DiningOut and SpotOn’s FoodBall Dessert Playoffs
EDGE’s pastry team, Molly Coen and Jen King, were the big winners of DiningOut and SpotOn’s Food Ball Dessert Playoffs with their “Save the Bees” creation. Drawing inspiration from Molly’s family farm in eastern Colorado, the duo focused on playing up a symphony of textures and flavors, resulting in a dessert that was complex, visually stunning and, of course, delicious. We were able to connect with the team to learn more about their journey as pastry chefs and the details of their winning dessert.
Q: Jen and Molly, how did you each get your start in pastry making?
Molly: I always used to cook with my grandma as a kid, that was one of our favorite things to do together. She still loves to share all of her new recipes with me! That is what really got me interested in baking. In 7th grade, my teacher had us do a project on what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I chose a Pastry Chef… many years later, here we are! It’s short and sweet, but means a lot to me! My mom still has that school project, I believe!
Jen: My whole life I always found solitude in baking. When I was stressed about school or sad about life, baking always gave me an escape from my reality. Baking has always been my safe place. When it came down to decide what I wanted to do with my life I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. The idea of spending every day doing my passion gave me more joy than I had ever known. Every day in culinary school was like a dream and now I get to do my passion every day. I’m so grateful that I get to wake up and live my dream.
Q: Can you tell the story of how you two started working together at EDGE?
Molly: Jen has worked at Four Seasons Denver & EDGE for going on four years now. I just joined the team in November of 2021. When we both were put on the evening shift, we bonded quickly! We really enjoy working the line together during dinner service and creating fun things like “Save the Bees”. Often we bounce ideas off each other through the night and end up creating something great!
Q: For your winning dessert, how did you go about pairing the other flavor profiles with the primary ingredient of honey?
Molly: I had recently come back from a trip to my family’s farm in eastern Colorado. They grow alfalfa and have bees to help pollinate the fields. I brought some honey back and was feeling so inspired! I had also just purchased the bee tuile mold and so it all kind of came from those two pieces.
We built the dessert a bit backwards… went for looks first and then added the component in last. We wanted to highlight the dark, toasty flavor of the alfalfa honey, so we chose almond, brown butter and caramelized white chocolate to help bring that out. Pear in both the mousse and sorbet was added to give a bit of fresh acid, to help cut the large amount of fat in the dish. All together, it’s rich and toasty, but crisp and sweet!
Q: What role did the texture of each component play as you designed the dessert?
We wanted to make sure we incorporated every texture that makes a dessert great… multiple crunchy pieces, soft cake, fluffy mousse and meringue, cold sorbet, and a jelly surprise in the middle.
We are big texture eaters, so we tend to make sure the mouthfeel of a dessert is as great as the flavor.
Q: Looking at the current EDGE dessert menu, what are some items you’re excited about as we head into colder months and how do you go about adjusting the ingredients and flavors for that season?
We are striving every day to provide Denver with the best dessert menu they have seen. Typically we choose our favorite flavors from each season and build off those until we make something amazing. Winter is always a fun one to write, and we are super excited to see what this season brings!
Take it from us, you don’t want to miss out on what Jen and Molly are cooking up at EDGE. Be sure to make a reservation and bring your loved ones along for the culinary ride.