June 25, 2003 |
THERE was a time when a propane torch in a restaurant kitchen meant just one thing: creme brulee. Now, Los Angeles chefs are taking the torch to all sorts of dishes. Pastry chef Jan Purdy finishes the coconut rice pudding with one at Senor Fred in Sherman Oaks. "We use the torch to get a little caramelization," she says. She also uses it toast the meringue on the lemon meringue tart at nearby Max restaurant. "You have a lot of control with the torch and it goes very fast," she explains.