Space Talks #003: Will Goldfarb

Every decade or so Chef Will Goldfarb finds a few minutes of sunshine. Currently basking in the glow of his first (and shockingly well received) cookbook (published by Phaidon) and a feature chapter (as one of just four chefs) in Netflix Chef’s Table Season Four (Pastry), Chef Goldfarb is still hanging on by a thread to the counter plating area at Room4Dessert in Ubud, where he and his merry band of pastry refugee all stars take to the metaphorical pastry skies each night to amaze and delight legions of passersby and other gastronauts. Joining mythical clubs is what a night at Room4Dessert is all about. A flight from certain law school led to a passing through Le Cordon Bleu in Paris more than 20 years ago set Chef Goldfarb on a trajectory that would lead him through some of the world’s most celebrated kitchens: from Gerard Mulot in Paris; to Fabio Picchi in Florence; to Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney. But the most impactful was surely the time spent at El Bulli, whose legacy Mr. Goldfarb has struggled to live up to for the better part of two decades. In New York he infuriated and delighted diners and critics in equal measure at Papillon, Morimoto and Cru before finally settling down to a home of his own at the original Room4Dessert at 17 Cleveland Place. During this time he received some accolades, like 10 Best Pastry Chefs, Rising Star, and a nomination, but not a victory, for a James Beard Award. Grandpa, as he is affectionately known by the youthful brigade at Room4Dessert, featured widely across periodicals (Apicius), platforms (Ted X), congresses (Identita Golose), and other events of years gone by (He was always big in Belgium...), including a fun adventure with the NYU Chemistry and Food Studies Department known as the Experimental Cuisine Collective. He was also profiled by some great authors like Bill Buford, Howie Kahn and Lisa Abend. Exit stage left and Goldfarb pops up in Bali, helping out legends at KU DE TA and Potato Head while gearing up for another assault on the senses, this time featuring local producers, his community, and native ingredients - aiming for a restorative experience through deliciousness and delight. A mentor, an explorer, a community man, or simply a cook. At Room4Dessert, he asks a simple question: What is dessert?


Watch our conversation with Will here.

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