FOODIES WEST.COM         
 EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF VANESSA JOHNSON:
                                                       I like being able to put everything on a plate that you are able to eat. I don’t like to put anything else that
April 2015 Issue / Vol. 3, No. 7                                                                                                                                     you would brush aside.












 





 
       
Executive Chef 
Kareem Shaw

     
Chef Michael Vargas

      
Jared Sowinski
Director of Beverage

      
April 2015
Chef's Larder

Find out why Executive Pastry Chef Vanessa Johnson talks to her food on our Facebook page!

          

Squash Blossoms:
Floral flophouses?


     
Cast & Plow

     
Molinari Caffé Liquore

      
Chef Charles Wiley
Prepares his signature Salmon recipe



Don't miss what's new at
FOODIES WEST!


Sign up for our free newsletter!


            


            


             

           
 
           
 
              
               Like Us!
Synopsis: Executive Pastry Chef Vanessa Johnson, Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey, CA
A dream, Colin Powell said, doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work. Except in Vanessa Johnson’s pastry shop, where desserts as ethereal as a dream get created. Fittingly enough, as some occur to her during visions of the night. Dreams that produce desserts with marigolds, carnations, and pansies; sprinkles of salt; blueberry sea coral, dancing apple slices, and purple goat cheese ice cream bars. Sometimes her two-year-old son, Mateo, born while she created pleasant dainties in Cabo San Lucas at the Capella Pedregal Hotel & Spa, inspires them. “I’m from the Bay Area,” Johnson explained why she went to Las Vegas, “and I wanted to do something different. Everybody was like, Oh, Las Vegas is going to be the next place. It was crazy. They didn’t want to show you a lot. They showed you want you had to do, but you didn’t learn a lot.” Her job was truffles. As much as she liked working with chocolate, it wasn’t about growth. It was perfection and quantity. “There are so many people there,” Johnson said. “There’s a huge volume. In Vegas, you’re not considered valuable. You’re just like a number to them. Everyone just wants to get to the next level. So I learned to just stay focused and not listen to the riff-raff.” She spent two-and-one-half years in Las Vegas, starting at Roy’s Restaurant and then Bellagio Hotel & Spa. She left the Mojave Desert in 2004 and never looked back, spending three years at sea on NCL America Cruise Lines, three years at Ritz Carlton Marina del Rey, and five years, she said, at Capella. Each kitchen on or by the sea. At Capella, she learned to be able to do anything. No small feat, as the property’s fine dining restaurant, Don Manuel’s, won a James Beard award during her time there.