Our team at ZINC New Haven and Kitchen ZINC has a cast of characters, most of them are behind the scenes and some that you may never see. We'd like to take this time to introduce one of our long time ZINC family members, our beloved Pastry Chef, Alba Estenoz.
Alba was born in Mérida, Spain. As a child, Alba played in her uncle’s pastelería and quickly grew to love the art of baking. In 2001, Alba joined Madrid’s prestigious El Gran Barril restaurant and it was here that she fine-tuned her extraordinary skills. When Alba moved to the United States in 2003, she soon became our pastry chef.
Alba pulls inspiration for her desserts from many sources. Two highly influential components in Alba's creations are her rapport with our Chef-Owner, Denise Appel and the availability of seasonal ingredients. She is constantly taking notes on what’s going on around the world and what people are interested in eating and incorporating that into her delectable desserts. She also looks to others in her field for creative inspiration and holds a high regard for pastry chefs Paco Torreblanca and Antonio Bachour.
Alba’s love of unique creations and challenging techniques is balanced with her desire to keep ZINC desserts appealing and irresistible.
One of her favorite ingredients is chocolate. She is constantly amazed at the availability of high-quality chocolate. She loves that the type of cocoa bean and country of origin are now part of her selection. During the cooler months, she experiments with many flavors and adds them to her Housemade Chocolates. She's created classic pairings like Raspberry Chocolates, as well as some more intricate flavors like honeycomb and lavender.
Alba is one of the first people in the door at ZINC. Her day ends before most of yours begin, but this is when Alba creates her masterpieces. There's no rule that you have to have dinner before dessert, though I'm sure your mother would disagree. Let this be your invitation to visit us and enjoy Alba’s efforts. Finish (or start!) your meal with her Dark Chocolate, Meyer Lemon + Caramel Mouse Cake, featuring White Chocolate + Lemon Gelato and a Chocolate Crumble. You will leave very, very happy.