Editor’s note: As much as we wish there were a fully functioning crystal ball in the DFW.com offices, there is no such apparatus.
But that won’t keep us from casting our gaze forward and forecasting who and what will capture our imaginations this year: a wonderful and weird artist who is finally getting his due, a young pastry chef (see below) whose sweet creations could become the talk of the town, a fresh-faced newsman, an inspiring actor, a hip-hop queen in waiting, even a surprising drink that could propel the next craft craze.
Those are a just few of the stars we’ve got our eyes on for 2014.
The chef: Laurel Wimberg
Who is she?: Pastry chef for Consilient Hospitality
Originally from: Lawrence, Kan.
Current hometown: Oak Cliff
Where you might have tasted her work already: Craft Dallas, Lark on the Park
Why she’ll be a big deal in 2014: Relatively few restaurants have the budget for a dedicated pastry chef, making Wimberg one of a small, elite cadre in DFW. But pastry chefs are “back” with the recovering economy, says the Los Angeles Times.
What’s her deal? “I like desserts that stay true to their ingredients. I like desserts that look complicated but are really just fleshing out what the ingredient has to offer. I like desserts with a lot of elements, but they should all serve a purpose.”
Signature dish: The coffee-toffee apple pudding at AF+B, the Fort Worth restaurant slated to open this week. “It’s an outgrowth of the sticky toffee pudding I used to make at Craft, but I reworked it, using prunes instead of dates, and soaking them in coffee instead of water.” Also, ice cream: “One of the desserts at AF+B is an ice cream and sorbet sampler. I’ve always loved ice creams and sorbets.”
Where can you taste her work currently? AF+B, Fireside Pies
Odd culinary request: “While at the W [hotel], we got a request for enough chocolate sauce to fill up a bathtub.” Who for? She never found out.
Cool compliment: “The Mexican soccer team said that they love my chocolate flan — it was the best compliment ever!”
Fun personal detail: Wimberg met her husband on OkCupid.