Michelle Negron of Timo Restaurant in Sunny Isles wants to make you fall in love with dessert.

RestaurantsLifestyle and LeisureDining and DrinkingCookingNorth MiamiSunny Isles

Name: Michelle Negron

Title: Pastry chef

Location: Timo Restaurant, 17624 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles; 305-936-1008, TimoRestaurant.com

Age: 27

Time at this location: Three years

Style of food prepared: Italian/Mediterranean

Background: Negron, an alumni of Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, won one of its first Zest awards in April — baking and pastry innovator.

“I have to admit, it was the most motivational thing that has ever happened to me,” she says.

Before joining Timo, she completed internships in Orlando, Germany and with Sweet Art by Lucila in Miami-Dade County.

“Every day I wake knowing that whatever challenges come my way, I will receive them with a smile because in the end, I love what I do,” says Negron, who is always singing or humming.

Q: What’s the hardest part of being a chef?

A: Spending time away from family when the holidays are around. Being from a large Puerto Rican household, our family gets together, cooks a lot of food, even roasting a pig in our backyard around the holidays.

Q: If you were limited to baking with only three ingredients, what would they be?

A: Butter; no matter what you’re preparing, butter always makes it better. Pure vanilla bean from Madagascar; no pastry chef can live without that. It is the basis of every one of my dessert recipes. And almond extract is my secret ingredient that I love to use in a lot of my cake recipes. It adds an intense sweetness that is incomparable.

Q: What are your two favorite desserts on the menu?

A: I’d have to say my blueberry baked Alaska tops the list. It was a spin-off of a blueberry cobbler. I make a homemade vanilla gelato with fresh blueberry swirl on top of a brown-sugar and cinnamon short-dough cookie. The whole thing is coated with a lemon meringue and garnished with blueberry dust. My second choice is our chocolate genoise flan. I was inspired by the flavors in a Girl Scout Samoas cookie. The genoise cake is baked together with a cheese flan and then topped with vanilla gelato rolled in toasted coconut, chocolate ganache and salted caramel.

Q: What changes do you foresee to keep Timo fresh and exciting?

A: I want to reinvent the wheel and take all those traditional desserts that we once loved, modernize them, add local and seasonal ingredients, and make us fall in love again.

Q: What are your career goals?

A: I love to teach. I want to share what I know, to have the opportunity to give back. I plan to offer private cooking lessons, and then I’d love to have the opportunity to become a culinary/pastry professor.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading