Chef Carter Holton on 24 quarts of creme brulee and a million-dollar dessert

Amid the happy bustle of the Roasterie Cafe in Brookside, Carter Holton is wincing as he retells the story of a failed batch of hollandaise made by his students at the Art Institutes International—Kansas City. The pastry chef at Le Fou Frog is the rarest kind of perfectionist, in that he believes we are all capable of fixing our mistakes.

“My students told me, ‘Chef, we broke our hollandaise. We broke it and so we threw it away.’ I was devastated. You can always fix it. Maybe we just needed a tablespoon of mayo. But just like that, 2 pounds of butter — gone,” Holton says. 

Mistakes happen, but it’s what you do before you get to the plate or oven that makes all the difference, as Holton, who is 24 today, has learned over nearly a decade in the kitchen.

Categories: Dining, Food & Drink