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Watch: The Architecture-Trained Chef Creating Sky-High Pastries

What better way to build a tower of sweets than with a leveling tool?

“I haven’t done a showpiece in probably over a decade,” says Rebecca DeAngelis, host of Eater’s new video series for dessert lovers, Sugar Coated. “So what better way to get back into it than with a former architect, now pastry chef?” DeAngelis is meeting with Jansen Chan, said former architect, who is now the director of pastry operations at the International Culinary Center in New York City.

“Architecture really comes in handy with the process and keeping true to a design concept,” explains Chan of the parallels between the two disciplines. “There’s going to be downfalls and things that you didn’t consider [...] and architects are good at keeping the true vision alive; I think pastry chefs can do the exact same.” Chan and DeAngelis are attempting to modernize a classic croquembouche — piled choux pastry balls bound with threads of caramel.

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