Last night was a night of firsts for the Observer's annual Iron Fork event. Held in Centennial Hall in Fair Park, it was the first time we had so much space to move around while balancing plates of food and drinks. Air conditioning was blowing full blast, and even the chefs battling it out on stage weren't sweating. It was also the first year I remember so much dessert being featured. There were a lot of sweets.
The Dallas Caramel Company brought sticky confections stuffed with sea salt, bacon and other flavorings. Rush Patisserie showed up with coconut-laced desserts capped in a soft ginger cookie. Local Oak didn't bring "dessert" but they did bring candied bacon that was promptly devoured, and then there was La Duni, who offered what was in my opinion not just the best dessert, but what was the best bite to be had at the entire event.
Owner Dunia Borgra was on hand, watching over a pair of assistants as they manned two Kitchen Aid mixers that bubbled and smoked with liquid nitrogen. Beneath the cryogenic cloud pistachio ice cream was setting up, just before candied pistachios were folded into the mix for extra flavor and crunch. The results were an intensely pistachio flavored ice cream, that had a velvety texture that was more like gelato. It was very dense.
Borga stood in front of her display table, personally doling out plastic spoonfuls of pistachio ice cream that subsequently painted a smile on each recipient's face. He delivery was playful and fun, which is really the whole point of dessert, anyway. Bonus points when the dessert in question blasts your last few ice cream memories out of the summer swimming pool.
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There were more smiles all over Iron Fork last night. Be sure to check them out in this slide show.