Future chefs on the Suncoast: Brianna Wall

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Brianna Wall is a 16-year-old student at Riverview High School. She started at Chef Camp during the first session Mattison’s City Grille had, and she has come back every summer since. Wall also started working at Mattison's Forty-One part time, helping out pastry chef Ray Lajoie. She has applied to Sarasota County Vocational training, and next year Wall will be attending a culinary arts school along with continuing her studies at Riverview. Now too old to attend Mattison's Chef Camp, Wall has asked if she could come back as a counselor.

And the next generation of chefs begins …

Wall and her mother say she has a number of favorites she makes with pastry chef Ray Lajoie, including mini cupcakes, mini cheese cakes and all manner of cookies. Her two favorites are the chocolate mousse and cocoanut clusters. Ray describes Brianna as a sweet and talented kid that he really enjoys mentoring.

"It is a great feeling to be able to have a positive impact and influence on a child's life, and Brianna is really special," Lajoie says.

Chef Paul Mattison's Chocolate Mousse

Serves six

Ingredients:

2 cup chilled heavy cream

4 large egg yolks

3 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla

7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped

Directions:

1. Heat ¾ cup cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160 degrees F on the thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.

2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water (or in a glass bowl in a microwave at 50% power 3 to 5 minutes), stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, and then cool.

3. Beat remaining 1 ¼ cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.

4. Spoon mouse into 8 (6-ounce) stemmed glasses or ramekins and chill, covered, at least 6 hours. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at www.mysuncoast.com