Former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses on cooking for the Obama's

The Dish: Chef Bill Yosses

Growing up in Ohio, Bill Yosses was a lucky kid. His mother's specialty was making delicious pies, cakes and other desserts. Baking would become his passion as well.

After earning degrees in both hotel management and French he became a pastry chef at top New York restaurants. In 2007, during the Bush administration, he was named executive pastry chef at the White House, a job he held for seven years into the second term of the Obama administration. Now, he's joined another venerable institution as executive pastry chef at New York's legendary Four Seasons restaurant.

Here are some of Yosses' signature recipes: 

Peruvian blue potatoes and caviar

Ingredients

  • 6 medium size blue Peruvian potatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 oz hackleback caviar
  • Chives chopped into half inch lengths

Directions

  • Peel potatoes and cut into coins 1" diameter by ½ "thick,
  • Place on cookie sheet drizzle olive oil on top and add salt and pepper
  • Bake at 400F for 15 minutes until soft
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Whisk cream and crème fraiche in an electric mixer until soft and fluffy.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Spoon some of the cream onto the potatoes and leave a dip in the center, fill with caviar and sprinkle chopped chives on top  

Bagna cauda (Asparagus, anchovies, lemon zest)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons skin on almonds
  • 2 oil packed anchovy filets
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig sage fresh
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 orange zest and juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper s
  • 1 and half lb asparagus  

Directions

  • Place rack in oven and preheat to 350F roast almonds to brown them for 8-10 minutes let cool then roughly chop
  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over low heat and add anchovies, garlic, sage, , stir occasionally until garlic is golden brown 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add lemon zest and orange zest add salt and fresh pepper then let this BAGNA CAUDA sit to cool
  • Toss asparagus and bagna cauda together 

Leeks, hazelnuts, tarragon vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • One cup hazelnuts
  • ½ cup virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 6 large leeks
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard Dijon
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/3 cup chopped tarragon
  • Fresh ground pepper  

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Toast hazelnuts until golden brown 6-8 minutes
  • Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil
  • Trim ends of leeks, wash thoroughly, and cut leeks into ½" rounds
  • Cook leeks in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender 12-15 minutes
  • Transfer to ice water to stop cooking
  • Drain and pat dry
  • Whisk garlic, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and whole grain mustards in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange leeks on a platter and drizzle with vinaigrette and let sit for 20 minutes to marinate
  • Scatter hazelnuts over the top before serving
  • Sprinkle tarragon on top  

Smashed potatoes and parsnips

Ingredients

  • 3 lb yukon gold potatoes peeled but leave on some skin for texture and flavor
  • 1 lb parsnips peeled and cut into half inch circles
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 sticks butter
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  • Place potatoes and parsnips in pot and cover with cold water 1" over top
  • Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer for about 40 minutes until cooked through
  • Drain potatoes and parsnip mix and leave in the pot to dry out off heat
  • Use a masher to add the butter until potatoes are well coated. This will coat the starches
  • ( and prevent the potatoes from getting gummy or sticky if you want to make this the day before, just reheat with some more milk to bring back to smooth consistency.)
  • Boil milk and cream and pour over potatoes stirring in the liquid until combined.  

Red wine-braised short ribs 

Ingredients

  • 5 pound bone-in beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 2" pieces salt and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped into small dice
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped into small dice
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into small dice
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ONE 750ml bottle red wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 sprigs each-- thyme, oregano, rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 275F., Season short ribs with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat.
  • Working in 2 batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons drippings from pot.
  • Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until onions are browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined -2-3 minutes. Stir in wine, then add short ribs with any accumulated juices
  • Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic and pour in the vegetable stock
  • Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.
  • Cook until short ribs are tender, 3 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce from pot into a measuring cup. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard; season the sauce.