If you serve a slice of cake at the bottom of a Ball jar, is it still a slice of cake? That’s just one of many burning questions we had about the current obsession with plating desserts vertically, in jars or other tall glasses. There’s no question that the form is a trend—we just couldn’t tell what sparked it. Aesthetics? Nostalgia for the days of canning? We polled some of the chefs who are jarring their desserts and received a modicum of clarity.
“It’s not really about the look for me. I like it personally because when you spoon into it, you get a little layer of everything—instead of a one-layer dessert, where you have to sort of pick at it.” —Stephanie Prida, pastry chef, Balsan and Ria
“The great thing about parfaits is you can layer different colors. It’s a nice way of presenting. It’s pretty. The only problem is when somebody wants to order the dessert to go.” —Kristine Subido, executive chef, WAVE
“What I’m trying to accomplish is to make the [dessert] as approachable and unpretentious as possible. This has a homey feel—it takes you back a bit, reminds you of all the jars that Grandma had underneath her stairs going to the basement.” —Daven Wardynski, executive chef, 676