Barley Swine is gearing up to move to Burnet Road soon, which will include a bigger kitchen. On board to expand the desserts and pastries is Odd Duck’s Susana Querejazu. She will serve as the executive pastry chef of both Gilmore spots.
The reason Querejazu wanted to join Barley Swine is because of the tasting menu. She sees it as a place to experiment and focus on specific flavors, like acidity and brightness, rather than thinking about how to round off meals with the final course. For her, Odd Duck has a more "rustic" feel to its menu, where the desserts are "ooey gooey" and have a "hot/cold contrast." With Barley Swine 2.0, she’ll be able to play with different techniques like liquid nitrogen and fermentation.
Her plan is to serve five desserts on the standard menu, and about three, five, or eight smaller items for the tasting menu. Yes, there will be baked goods at Barley Swine, ideally in smaller formats or as takeaway items at the end of the tasting menu. Here is Querejazu’s sneak peek of her evolving plans for the Brentwood restaurant.
Usually, Mont Blancs are made with chestnut pastry cream, but Querejazu wanted to add a Texas twist with peanuts instead, using the first batch of the legumes from Phoenix Farm in Bastrop. She pipes the peanut pastry cream on top of the chocolate-dipped chocolate mousse. Underneath that is a layer of ginger jam "to brighten it up." She also adds crunchy lacto-fermentables, shaved honeycomb candy, honey, Maldon salt, and sorrel for a pop of color.
Using Barley Swine’s recent vinegar pie, which was served in a bowl, as a springboard, Querejazu's version comes inside a tart shell lined with apple chewies (compressed in vinegar simple syrup, diced, and then dehydrated) and pecan streusel. Then it is filled with vinegar pastry cream and apple cider custard.
Querejazu warns that this is just one of the many future renditions of the pastry. Originally, the parsley croissants were to be paired with snail cream, but that became frog legs instead. She put parsley and fried garlic, which she usually avoids because "it will kill any of my desserts," into butter used for the dough. After a taste, she thinks it "still needs some refinement." The next iteration will be with the puff pastry, where the herbs are blended into the dough.