Daniel Burns: from pastry to beer

I met Daniel Burns last February in Milan during Identità Golose. His show cooking was during the session Identità Estreme and immediately struck me for two reasons. The first is the theme of this blog: in his career he was pastry chef at The Fat Duck and Noma. The second is my other big passion, craft beer: Daniel is the chef of Luksus, the first starred restaurant in the world that does not include wine in its menu, only craft beer. Luksus has a “twin”: the beer bar Tørst, both in Brooklyn. So I contacted Daniel in order to have some info about his project.

1) From pastry to beer: how do you explain this passage?
Well actually, I trained in the savory kitchen but have worked half of my career in the pastry. So I feel comfortable on both sides of the kitchen. The beer part is to focus on the fact that beer pairs very well with food; and even with “fine dining”, which in itself is something that is constantly evolving in these times. We want to showcase beer paired with food, and open people’s eyes to the opportunities that there are.

2) What did you like best in your job as a pastry chef? There’s one dessert you like best?
My time at The Fat Duck and at Noma as pastry chef were unforgettable times in terms of learning and experimenting with new flavors and techniques. The most important for me is to stay true to the season also in the sweet servings. There were a few memorable ones, in particular the walnut dessert and the blueberry/pine dessert at Noma.

3) Despite craft beer is an hype in Italy at this moment, chef and restaurant owners are not so prepared and not so careful about it. How was born your idea for Tørst?
I met Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø here in Brooklyn and we became friends. His idea was to have a world class beer bar, then the idea of the restaurant came as an additional idea once the right space was found for the bar and restaurant. Jeppe curates the beer program here, and the menu evolves constantly, as do the beers paired with the food.

4) There are some Italian craft beers on your menu: what’s the Italian beer you like best?
Loverbeer is my favorite – their beer brewed with plums we have used extensively here, paired with duck or squab and a salted plum puree and beetroot. Birrificio del Ducato and Birra del Borgo we have also used both at Tørst and Luksus.

5) Beer and pastry: tell us three desserts and the beer you paired them with.

Blueberries and corn – Evil Twin Justin Blåbær

Parsnip, malt and chocolate – Alesmith Wee Heavy

Carrot, cumin and yogurt – Prairie ‘merica

From left to the right, the three desserts mentioned by Daniel Burns - Credits: Signe Birck

From left to the right, the three desserts mentioned by Daniel Burns – Credits: Signe Birck


6) You are publishing a book with Phaidon: could you say something about this?
​Yes!  It’s gonna be called FOOD + BEER, and will speak about our philosophies behind pairing beer with food.  It is set to be released in spring 2016.  We are very excited!

Thanks Daniel for this inspiring chat and good luck with your amazing project: I hope that more international chefs start pairing craft beer and food like you…cheers!

*images credits: Signe Birck*

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