Pensacola, Florida
Saturday December 16th 2017

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Dessert Is Art

With Corey Wall of Restaurant IRON

Sometimes overlooked in the culinary world, dessert can round out a meal and leave a lasting impression. Restaurant IRONS’s Pastry Chef Corey Wall knows this all too well (just try the Nutella Pie).

Wall has been with Restaurant IRON for a year and a half and has been cooking professionally for over four years.

“One day watching a cooking show I realized it was something I could make my career,” Wall said. “After thinking about it for a few weeks, I enrolled into the Athens Technical College Culinary Program. While there, I met my mentor, Executive Chef Shayne Taylor, who was the previous Executive Chef at Pensacola Country Club. I began working with him at the Georgia Club and have learned so much from him, and continue to use him as a resource for knowledge and guidance.”

Wall said that she’s part old school and part new school, and uses her background as an artist to create a visually appealing plate.

“Being an artist, more specifically creating abstract paintings, is a huge influence on my plating,” Wall said. “Pastries are a little bit more playful, but you can still use traditional pastry methods for very modern interpretations. Dessert is the last impression given before someone leaves the restaurant, and it means a lot to me to create a moment for someone to be nostalgic, inspired to try and make it themselves, anything that creates a lasting memory for them.”

Restaurant IRON has seen continued success after relocating to downtown in 2015 from its former location at the Marcus Point Golf Course.

“I enjoy the creative freedom and trust that Chef Alex McPhail gives me,” Wall said. “He is always available and helpful if I need advice or just to bounce ideas off of.”

Wall said that she is fortunate to work with a like-minded team who all have the same goal.

“We all want to be the best we can possibly be,” she said. “They show an interest in learning about the desserts I’ve created, and I will take the time to teach them the actual process or little techniques here and there. I also love how enthusiastic our clientele is. It’s amazing to get immediate feedback, as well as just interacting with them and getting to know them.”

Wall said that her inspiration for her dishes can come from just about anything.

“I’ve had it strike in the middle of a conversation that wasn’t even about food,” she said. “I actively read cookbooks and look for new ideas. It usually starts when I think of a component and then I plan what would go with that, having different textures and temperatures on the plate. I have many notebooks that I’m always writing down ideas and recipes in.”

Wall said that talking to teammates about their thoughts and opinions can be a great way to get inspired.

“Being in an open kitchen, I’ve gotten plenty of ideas just talking to people about food they like,” she said. “Thinking about new dishes is so much fun to me, then creating the recipes and bringing it all together is very fulfilling.”

However, pastries are a different mindset, Wall said, from working on the line or prepping savory food.

“The pastry world is such a fun place, I love all the textures, flavors, colors,” she said. “It takes extra time and most importantly attention to ensure it comes out correctly. It’s a creative outlet that I am happy to say is my job. I don’t walk into work dreading anything. I walk into work excited about all the possibilities.”

As for women who are thinking about entering the restaurant world, Wall said to do your research first.

Her advice to women chasing a culinary dream: “Do anything you can to try and get a feel for the industry before jumping right in. It’s not easy to work long hours and having a completely different schedule from your family and friends. It can be frustrating at times while you’re learning, but one day you’ll have an amazing realization of just how far you’ve come. Being humble, having integrity and thinking positive will get you far, as well as good shoes and a sharp knife.”

Restaurant IRON
22 N Palafox. St.
restaurantiron.com