BEING ONE OF AMERICA’S leading pastry chefs, Brother Isaac Carter faces up to a hectic schedule but his strong faith in God dictates to him how to go about his work and what he must truly prioritize. “I always prioritize the worship service. When my schedule’s tight, no matter what, I’ll prioritize where I’m going to attend the worship service before everything else,” he said with conviction.
In his line of work he has to be creative, innovative, and patient with a good eye for detail and a distinct sense of taste because, he said, “In my work there’s a lot of trial and error. If I have an idea for a savory ingredient for a dessert, I try it, but sometimes it doesn’t taste good so I scratch it out. It’s just test, test, test until I get the right texture and flavor.” The end product must not only tickle the palate but must also be visually appealing, since today’s gourmet pastry has become a work of art with highly technical sculpted pieces. Speed is also a must because, he said, “The pressure is on when 10 to 20 tickets are fired all at once and you have to plate it now. No questions asked.”
He is currently one of the pastry chefs at the Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California. He had worked in various high-end restaurants and hotels in San Francisco and Los Angeles and became the executive chef in a restaurant with a Michelin Star, a hallmark of fine dining quality. “I create the menu. I come up with different seasonal items that are great for dessert. Every time I go out and I see a certain ingredient, I figure out in my mind if that would go well with this and that or use this kind of chocolate. Anywhere I go, if I taste something, something just triggers inside of me. ‘Oh! I can create something with this vegetable, this fruit’,” Brother Isaac enthused. He continues to come up with charming-looking delectable cupcakes, desserts, and stunning special occasion cakes.
This year, he was one of the 15 finalists selected from across America to compete in the U.S. Pastry Competition, the most prestigious pastry competition in the United States, hosted by a leading specialty food importer and distributor. The event took place in the International & Foodservice Show of New York held on March 5, 2017 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Prior to that, he won in “Cupcake Wars”, a competition aired on US television. It was a close battle with three other bakers, but as the program’s host put it: “The judges have been impressed by your unexpected flavors. And your innovative use of cupcake wrappers on your splay has wowed them.”
Brother Isaac is a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) in the local congregation of San Leandro, Northwest California Ecclesiastical District. Despite his busy schedule, he still finds time to volunteer to teach his craft to the youth in the Church and to children with special needs in his community.
Brother Isaac’s goal is to open his own ice cream shop. Encouraging him along the way are his parents and his wife. “They’re my biggest supporters,” he quipped, “and the one thing we constantly do is pray. To be successful also takes a lot of sacrifice as you work your way up, really stressful. It’s not easy. I wouldn’t have received all of these blessings without God’s help through prayers.”
By MARIE F. RUIZ
God’s Message Magazine, August 2017