Gallery: Behind the Scenes at a Las Vegas Pastry Kitchen

Display at Wicked Spoon
Display at Wicked Spoon

Individual servings of cobblers, pies, custards, and puddings make up a big portion of the sweets buffet.

Chocolate Marshmallows
Chocolate Marshmallows

To maximize productivity when making chocolate-dipped marshmallows or strawberries, Trevethan demonstrates how his pastry cooks dip two skewers at a time, one in each hand. Once dipped, the treats are placed at the back of the pan so that chocolate from subsequent skewers doesn't drip on them.

Chocolate Enrober
Chocolate Enrober

Trevethan uses the kitchen's enrobing belt to coat Twinkies, apple pies, and other American classics with chocolate. The machine is constantly tempering the chocolate, bringing it to the ideal temperature of 30.6 degrees Celsius.

Ice Cream Maker
Ice Cream Maker

It takes 12 minutes to run one batch of gelato. To maximize efficiency, Trevethan runs his two machines on alternating cycles, so six minutes into one machine's cycle, the other is ready for extraction. He also makes the gelato in order of color, moving from lightest to darkest (pistachio, tiramisu, coffee, chocolate, etc.) so that the darker hues won't muddy the color of the lighter ones.

Making Croissants
Making Croissants

After mixing croissant dough in a spiral mixer, butter is pressed into the pastry dough through the process of laminating. Here, Trevethan's assistant,Julian Perrigo-Jimenez, has already pressed butter into the rolled out dough. He gives it a "double book" fold and rolls it through the laminating machine. He repeats this process several times, marking the dough with his fingers to keep track of how many times it's gone through the process. Each fold is called a turn, some are double, like the book fold pictured here, and some are single folds. Lamination gives the croissants their flaky layers.

Croissants
Croissants

Once laminated, the dough goes in the freezer to finish, allowing the gluten to relax, and then is shaped, proofed for 24-hours, and baked.

Finishing cheesecake
Finishing cheesecake

Though most buffets offer cheesecake and other cakes and pies in slices, Trevethan serves his in tart shells, mousse cups, or glasses. This makes the desserts appear more uniform on the buffet and saves in man-power. He only needs two staff members doing finishing since there is no need to cut slices.

Peach Melba
Peach Melba

After sautéing peaches with cinnamon and vanilla bean, the staff tops the compote with vanilla Bavarian cream and graham cracker crumbles. Each cup receives a garnish of gold leaf and a pair of purple meringue sticks.

Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Shortcake

Trevethan's spin on strawberry shortcake features strawberry compote, vanilla cheesecake mouse, graham cracker crumbs, and pink meringue sticks. Trevethan recognizes that at a buffet, guests want to sample as many dishes as possible, so he insists that each cup is only filled about half way to ensure as little wasted food as possible. (Get the recipe.)

Back-Up Cart
Back-Up Cart

Because the kitchen is open 24-hours a day, the quantities made of each dish on a given night are determined by demand. Trevethan does keep a back up cart ready in case there's a rush on the buffet, but these desserts aren't decorated until they're ready to go out. The cart doesn't include items that need to be fresh baked like apple pie or peach cobbler.

Consistency
Consistency

Equally important to efficiency is consistency. To make sure that the pastries and desserts are uniform, samples of each item are laid out each day for the chef to examine.

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20110805-164816-cosmopolitan-wickedcups-primary.jpg