Chefs on StarChefs
210 W Rittenhouse Sq
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 546-9000

Biography »

Pamela Lewy:: Describe your philosophy on baking.
Matt Maslowski: I like to describe my philosophy as a blend of chemistry and architecture…science mixed with art.

PL: You were a Pastry Chef for Player’s Island Hotel and Casino in Louisiana for two years. What brought you there?

MM: I wanted to try something different and expand my horizons. At the time, my brother-in-law was working for their casino and he told me they were looking for a new pastry chef, so I decided to make the move.

PL: How did you like it?

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Lacroix at the Rittenhouse | Philadelphia, PA

Olive ice cream and sweet tomato tarte tatin may not sound like traditional desserts, but that’s because pastry chef Matt Maslowski is anything but conventional, favoring progressive desserts that marry sweet and savory ingredients. After graduating second in his class from the Restaurant School in Philadelphia, Maslowski began work at some of the best establishments in Philly, including The Fountain Room at the Four Seasons and Ciboulette. Today in the kitchen of Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, he is surpassing expectations and giving diners a new perspective on desserts. Goat cheese ice cream anyone?

Chocolate-Coffee Pâté
Pastry Chef Matt Maslowski of Lacroix at the Rittenhouse – Philadelphia, PA
Adapted by StarChefs

Yield: 4-6 Servings


  • 12 ounces butter
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 6 ounces coffee
  • 6 ounces Kahlua
  • 1 pound, 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 10 eggs
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped


Preheat oven to 250°F. Butter and sugar 4-6 ramekins. In medium saucepan, combine butter, sugar, coffee, and Kahlua. Heat over low flame until butter is fully melted.

Place chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Pour butter mixture over chocolate. Let stand until melted then stir carefully to incorporate all the ingredients. Slowly whisk in the eggs, two at a time. Divide mixture into buttered and sugared ramekins. Place ramekins in shallow baking dish and fill dish halfway with hot water. Bake until set, about 25 to 30 minutes.

For garnish:
Temper chocolate by heating chopped chocolate over a double boiler. Stir constantly until chocolate is fully melted. Remove from heat and continue stirring. Once chocolate has reached a temperature between 110° and 120°F, allow chocolate to cool at room temperature, stirring occasionally until it reaches a temperature in the low 80’s. Before working with the chocolate, re-heat until chocolate reaches about 90°F. Spread chocolate onto a cool, smooth, clean surface. Before chocolate is completely cooled, working quickly, cut rounds approximately the same diameter as ramekins.

To Serve:
Warm ramekin for a couple of minutes in a hot water bath to release from sides. Invert pâté onto a plate and place semi-sweet chocolate disc on top.

Interview Cont'd

MM: It was a different experience. I had to deal not only with the restaurant but the buffet and banquets as well.

PL: What pastry tools can’t you live without?

MM: I’m torn between my candy thermometer and my sugar pump (to make blown sugar).

PL: What are your favorite ingredients to incorporate into your desserts?

MM: I like to use tonka beans because they are floral and versatile. I also like to infuse spices and herbs into desserts.

PL: Where do you get your inspiration?

MM: I like to take bits and pieces from different sources of inspiration. I read books and Food Arts magazine. I sometimes look to our Chef de Cuisine, Matt Ridgway, for inspiration.

PL: What are your top three tips for dessert success?

MM: Taste, cleanliness, and inspiration.

PL: Who are your mentors/pastry heroes?

MM: Eddie Hales from the Four Season in Philadelphia and Frederick Ortega from Lacroix at the Rittenhouse.

PL: What are your favorite desserts to eat?

MM: Homemade sorbet and ice cream. They’re simple but good.

PL: What is your favorite dessert to make?
MM: Chocolate soufflé.


 Published: May 2004