Christopher Jennings
  • Male
  • Miami, FL
  • United States

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  • Christopher Munguia
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  • vimal vijayakumar
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  • Lisa Dowe
  • Geoffrey Blount CEPC
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  • Greg Smitka
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Profile Information

About me :
Executive Pastry chef
I enter competitions :
Very infrequently
I consider my specialty to be:
Educating, and Inspiring the next generation of pastry chefs in this country.

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Comment Wall (12 comments)

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At 12:15pm on April 18, 2009, Hiba said…
Hello Christopher,
It is realy nice to know that you remain in the Pastry arts for 30 years so you radiate this site. I am not a professionel in the pastry domain contrarily to the Algerian cakes domain, I hope learn from you than. I saw a lot of pastry photos in pastry group I liked them, variety of forms, colors and diametres,I ignore the taste but they seem good. I am delighted to know you.
At 12:04am on April 5, 2009, Christopher Jennings said…
Dude... Thats sweet as hell. Thanks so much... You know.. with the slowdown in business,... I kinda get to play & experiment, because for a change... I have some time to do some different stuff... Thanks again...CJ
At 8:44pm on April 3, 2009, Shawn the Baker said…
Hey CJ,
A doughnut station sounds great. I've run doughnuts a couple of times. I don't have a favorite recipe though. We did Thomas Keller's coffee and doughnuts and it was okay but not great. If I were to run doughnuts again though, I would source Nancy Silverton and her new pastry book. I've been using it a lot this winter with great results.

Buttermilk Cake Doughnuts / Pastries from the La Brea Bakery

½ cup Sour Cream 4 oz
6 ½ cups Pastry Flour 1 ib 10 oz
1 ½ cups Sugar 10.5 oz
1 tea Baking Soda
2 tea Baking Powder
2 tea Salt
1 Tbl Nutmeg
2 1/4 tea Dry Yeast
1 3/4 cup Buttermilk 14 oz
2 each Eggs
4 each Egg Yolks
2 Tbl Vanilla

Warm the sour cream and add to the yeast. Sift dry ingredients a bowl. Pour yeast mixture over dry along with all the wet ingredients. Mix smooth by hand.
Turnout onto floured bench, roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out doughnuts and holes.
Fry at 375*F Yields: 15 doughnuts and holes.

Apple Cider Glaze ( I came up with this one)
5 cups Apple Cider, reduced to
1 ½ cups Cider reduction
Powdered Sugar, added to taste / consistancy.

Raised Doughnuts

1 ½ cups Milk, warm 12 oz
4 ½ tea Dry Yeast
6 1/4 cups Pastry Flour 1 lb 9 oz
12 each Egg Yolks
1 cup Sugar 7 oz
1 ½ tea Salt
1 cup Butter 8 oz
2 each Vanilla Bean
2 Tbl Vanilla

Add yeast to warm milk in mixer bowl. Sift half of flour over and rest covered 30 minutes. Combine sugar with yolks, salt, ½ cup of the flour and reserve.
Scrape the vanilla beans into the butter and cook to a beurre noisette. Pour this over the egg mixture and add the vanilla extract. Pour this butter mixture into the mixer over the yeast mixture. Mix with paddle. Add remaining flour, mix 1 minute.
Place in greased tub. Cover and proof to double, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Fold dough and proof double, 30 minutes. Roll ½ thick, cut out doughnuts.
Rest 15 minutes, fry at 375*F Dip in white glaze while warm. Yield: 18 doughnuts

White Glaze

1 1/4 cups Powdered Sugar 6 oz
½ cup Cream 4 oz
1 tea Vanilla
1/4 tea Salt

I hope this helps,
Combine warm over water bath.
At 9:00pm on March 31, 2009, Kristi said…
Hey Chris-
I wouldn't have probably struck out on my own if I didn't have a strong business partner who is also a pastry chef. As it is really hard to find qualified people who don't want to RUN your business. I would really like to help people move forward in this business, because I think it is a hard business to progress in unless you are pretty aggressive....but, I am not interested in being just a rung on the ladder for people moving up the ranks. If that makes sense to you. At any rate, up here there happens to be a boutique niche for bakeries and not a lot of good ones in the suburban areas. My specialty is french style pastries and in particular laminated doughs which I am sure you know is harder and harder to come by in house made fresh. I also have a good background with individual desserts and cakes. My partner is also great with cakes and can do pretty much anything else she puts her mind to. Both of us come from Country we are brimming with ideas we couldn't use there.

Anyway, it is always good to have a niche that gives you some security with your job...and it might be a little sketchy that men want their picture taken with you...but I'll take that over a job hunt any long as the boundaries are not pushed by said personal space invaders. And, I think FS are one of the only hotels that are on the right track in terms of trying to keep good employees around...the peninsula up here has let go of much of their overall kitchen staff (incl. pastry) and I would think when the ground is a bit less shaky they will spend more to bring in and or train new staff, than to take a hit and keep the existing staff. So, good deal for you and hang on to that job for all its worth because I know a few people looking in pastry up here and it is bad. I even had a culinary student basically beg me for a job...and sadly, I had to turn her away because with my partner and I we don't really need another person in the kitchen yet. And she would not be happy with the pay or the position I could offer right now which is basically sandwich/salad prep or cashier. I tried to set her up to work with a friend of mine who is looking for a line cook, but she doesn't want it. It's really too bad because my friend might hire her full time and move her up to Sous pretty quickly if she could hack it. But, I guess her lack of interest probably tells the story on that one....anyway, rambling away.
Glad to hear you are on steady ground. Stay in touch. Our vents and hood go up tomorrow and drywall next moving along. Once there is more than duct work to see I'll post some new pics. Talk to you soon. K
At 2:26pm on March 31, 2009, Shawn the Baker said…
Hey Chris,
I left you a note on my photo "petit gateaux".
I thought you might have missed it as it wasn't flagged on the home page.
See ya,
At 10:55pm on March 30, 2009, Kristi said…
FYI, I think Lisa Fernandez is still at LCB Chicago...but I was working full time and going to school at night, so I don't think I ever met her. Unless maybe in passing.
At 10:53pm on March 30, 2009, Kristi said…
The French Pastry School in Chicago is doing very well. They just hired the Chef that started Vanille Patisserie in Chicago (guessing that the restaurants lifespan is coming to a close based on the new job...but that happens a lot in Chicago). I know some students who graduated from there. Though I wouldn't say they got a better education than any of the other schools, they do have one great benefit....small classes. So, in a way that is a leg up. Here a lot of the hotels are letting people go. Pastry in particular....but many of the famous restaurants are still thriving. Anything with Tramanto, Gand or Aschatz is doing great, along with the parent companies Levy Restaurants and Lettuce Entertain You. In addition, many of the smaller bakeries are doing quite well. I am amazed that we announced our opening a few months ago and we are being chased all over the North it has been crazy and makes it tough to get things done up near there. People I didn't even know I knew are calling me or stopping in during construction to ask my contractor to say hi to me....which he thinks is creepy of course. Don't get me wrong, I am all for having a successful business...but it does get weird from time to time. I am guessing you feel this when you have your Chocolate nights, etc. I am so excited the you have a good secure situation...since that is a good thing for you and the industry. I think in a few more months some of the hotels will loosen their grips on the money and start hiring interns...guessing they will just need to be overloaded before they do it. So they have some security in the fact that they can pay them. FYI, le Cordon Bleu schools do not require paid of the few if you really need interns. I am sure they'd like to get paid, but if you get hit hard and they need to graduate I am guessing they will concede. As far as people we may know...II know Shawn from here only. I know Wendy DeBord pretty well, also another Club PC who is far too talented for that kind of work. Other than that I may know some people that you know...but it will take me some time to put it together...I have a slow brain when it comes to remembering people or faces : ) Anyway, good luck with your Four Seasons Celeb status. And hope to see some pictures soon!!
At 7:08pm on March 30, 2009, Christopher Jennings said…
Yeh.. we're a pretty tight nit community... Love what I do! Love to share information, & inspire the pastry arts to fellow artists. good luck with your adventure. hope it's a great one.
At 6:49pm on March 30, 2009, Toni MacMillan said…
Hi Christopher! Thanks for adding me as a friend..... can't have too many, ya' know! :)
At 12:59pm on March 30, 2009, Kristi said…
I did not enjoy the club life either. I felt like it was where creative people went when they were no longer inspired to do any better. That is how opening a place came about though. The Executive Pastry Chef who had been there 19 years and I are opening it together. We became friends while I was there and did a lot of really exciting things while I worked there. So, when I left...she stayed on for one more season and I went to be a production manager at a candy facility. But, we talked almost daily about what a great idea it would be to find the perfect location and open a bakery. So, we looked for a location for about 18 months and found a great location last winter. Now we are about 2 months from opening our doors. The weird thing is I get stopped on the street now to find out about the bakery. I've lived in the area for probably half my life and all of a sudden I can't go to the grocery store without talking to 14 people about the bakery...had I known it would have been this exciting to people, I'd have done it ten years ago. Anyway, a lot of the hotels up here are laying off pastry chefs. And they are now looking for clubs to work at...I don't think that is going to be a happy surprise when they realize they have just signed on to babysit the rich and mannerless. It's too bad, because Chicago has a ton of great hotels and restaurants but unless you are Gale Gand in those places you are vulnerable. Anyway, as you can see...I too am prone to long winded responses. Thanks for the offer to assist and the offer goes both ways...I like helping others in the field out too, when I can.



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