Claudia Fleming on her new role as Executive Pastry Director for Union Square Hospitality Group and what it’s like to be back in a New York restaurant kitchen.


Claudia Fleming isn't sure about the bomboloni. The taste is there, and so is the texture. It's the shape that has her rethinking. The sugar-dusted doughnuts are part of the dessert menu Fleming developed for Ci Siamo, the latest opening from Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). Each doughnut looks like a flower, with six petals for easy tearing, easy dipping (into the chocolate amaro that comes on the side), and—most important to Fleming—easy sharing. But Fleming, the legendary pastry chef who stepped into her new role as USHG's Executive Pastry Director last April, said, "It's very hard to get the cooking time right, and I don't know, you look at something for a really long time and you say 'Is that really a good idea?'"

It's not only a good idea, it's a great idea. And that's because after a meal at Ci Siamo, sharing dessert is really the only option. You'll be stuffed (chef Hillary Sterling's caramelized onion torta with pecorino crust and fonduta could be a meal of its own), but you'll also want one of everything. There's an espresso-forward chocolate budino, a perfectly pungent lemon torta, hearth roasted figs that are smoky and sweet, and a roster of gelati and sorbetti (hazelnut gelato and blackcurrant sorbet just to name a couple). While traditional Italian bomboloni, which are often spherical and stuffed with Nutella or jam, aren't made for communal eating, Fleming's pull-apart rendition was designed to be ordered for the table—a move that feels right given the dual returns of indoor dining and normal life.

Claudia Fleming
Credit: Giada Paoloni

The restaurant itself, which opened in Manhattan West in October, is homey and warm—an invitation to get back to it all after being shut away for so long away. Even the name echoes this sentiment: Ci Siamo is Italian slang for "we've made it," or "we've arrived," or "we're here." Fleming said, "It feels like an exclamation point in the shape of a hug."

For Fleming, who was the inaugural pastry chef at another USHG restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, from 1994 to 2002, this role is a homecoming in and of itself. When Fleming moved to Long Island in 2005 to open the North Fork Inn with her late husband, Gerry Hayden, she didn't think she'd ever come back to the city. But somewhere between Hayden's death in 2015 and selling North Fork Inn in 2020, Fleming decided to call up her old boss. 

hazelnut gelato
Credit: Sarah Crowder

"Danny reminded me that on my exit interview from Gramercy, I told him I would never work for another restaurateur," Fleming said. "I knew when I left I had reached the peak." 20 years later, Fleming has returned to that mountaintop, this time to oversee pastry across all USHG brands. She said, "I can't really imagine coming back to New York after so long and not being somewhere familiar."

Fleming announced her new role with a limited-time run of strawberries-and-cream scones at Daily Provisions, the USHG coffee-and-sandwich shop known for its maple crullers. She's been working primarily on Ci Siamo since July, but the idea is for her to ultimately advise all of the pastry teams across USHG.

roasted figs
Credit: Sarah Crowder

Though the ingredients and techniques Fleming uses in her desserts have changed throughout the years, her approach to pastry has stayed consistent. Flavor, seasonality, and simplicity are what Fleming refers to as her driving forces, whether she's making her signature Chocolate Caramel Tarts or a holiday-ready Goat Cheese Cake with Wine-Poached Cranberries. On the savory side of the kitchen, Hillary Sterling works to achieve those same goals, which is part of the reason why the two work so well together.

Fleming is used to working in a bit more of a silo, but Sterling has been hands-on in a way that's new for Fleming—a way she finds inspiring. The two chefs spent all summer testing recipes in the basement kitchen at Marta, USHG's Roman-style pizzeria. "We are very much on the same page," Fleming said. "With the dessert program, I'm not here to make a statement on my own. It's got to be cohesive. That's part of the challenge, and that's part of the beauty."

dessert spread at Ci Siamo
Credit: Sarah Crowder

Fleming is also spearheading the bread program at Ci Siamo, something she hasn't spent as much time on in her career. In the 80s and 90s, when Fleming was coming up at Jonathan Waxman's Jams and then Gramercy Tavern, New York was full of high-quality, artisanal bread bakers, so lots of restaurants sourced out for their baguettes. But now, it's almost expected that great restaurants make their bread in-house. It's an opportunity Fleming has embraced and, naturally, excelled in.

One thing that hasn't changed about New York City restaurant kitchens? The speed. "I'm getting my ass kicked," Fleming said. "I don't have quite the same stamina. But it's a muscle, you build it back." That's exactly what Fleming is doing at USHG, and what Ci Siamo is doing within the city's restaurant scene as a whole. "It feels like a real honor to be part of the revitalization of New York."

GET THE RECIPE: Wedding Cakes with Dots and Daisies
中文天堂最新版在线www-bt天堂网www天堂-电影天堂 长津湖免费观看完整版
意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 罗永浩吐槽苹果文案没文化 印度首都准备封城 速度与激情9 五个扑水的少年 星际穿越 夜色暗涌时 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 中美元首会谈重点内容 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 红色通缉令 甄嬛传 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 十九届六中全会公报发布 林丹世界排名被正式移除 逆局 周冠宇成为中国首位F1车手 大连一密接者擅自点外卖聚餐被调查 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 斗破苍穹 灵媒 外交部回应拜登重申不支持台独 24岁救人牺牲消防员获批为烈士 胡锡进谈中美元首会晤 两个女人 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 24岁救人牺牲消防员获批为烈士 红色通缉令 意大利错失直接晋级世界杯资格 十九届六中全会公报发布 男子写80页PPT拯救爱情却离婚 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 大连现超级传播者26人在同一传播链 浦发银行回应近3亿存款莫名被质押 中国医生 寻梦环游记 房价上涨城市创七年新低 拐点来了? 花木兰 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 失控玩家 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 我要我们在一起 长津湖 扫黑风暴 我和我的祖国 花木兰 千与千寻 24岁救人牺牲消防员获批为烈士 #耿直真香哥黑化卖惨# 扫黑风暴 得知母亲出事男子在地铁痛哭 罗永浩吐槽苹果文案没文化 国足最新出线概率0.08% 得知母亲出事男子在地铁痛哭 我和我的祖国 长津湖 我要我们在一起 大连现超级传播者26人在同一传播链 中国共产党第三个历史决议全文发布 苏宁易购回应破产传闻 国足最新出线概率0.08% 嘉南传 蜘蛛侠:英雄归来 北京冬奥火炬宣传片获金花环奖 胡锡进谈中美元首会晤 男子体检血中抽出2升油浆 国足战澳大利亚大名单:4归化在列 房价上涨城市创七年新低 拐点来了? 男子体检血中抽出2升油浆
南投县| 彝良县| 连南| 准格尔旗| 石城县| 密云县| 大石桥市| 宣威市| 徐水县| 清水河县| 宁阳县| 县级市| 蕲春县| 阳谷县| 宜城市| 岚皋县| 石棉县| 洪泽县| 日喀则市| 乌鲁木齐市| 华安县| 张掖市| 临清市| 梅河口市|