“Everything I make has to taste absolutely delicious,” writes Claudia Fleming in the introduction to her 2001 book “The Last Course,” which has just been reissued by Random House. “But deliciousness can take many forms.” That last observation is crucial to the work of Fleming, a James Beard award-winning pastry chef and the proprietor of North Fork Table & Inn in Southold. In a book of less than 300 pages, the Long Island native offers 175 recipes employing a wealth of ingredients and seemingly every fruit on the planet.
Even better, however, Fleming points the way forward, offering countless tips that home cooks can use to create their own unique masterpieces by encouraging them to think creatively about favorite dessert staples — berries, chocolate, nuts — and to not overlook less common ingredients too — cilantro, pink peppercorns, basil, tarragon.
On Friday, in conjunction with her book’s republication, Fleming will offer fans the chance to meet her during a special event at North Fork Table. A three-course dessert tasting along with a concomitant wine flight will be offered for $90 per person, which includes a signed copy of “The Last Course” and a souvenir cookie. A prix fixe dinner will also be offered for a separate charge. See below for details.
Can’t make it to Southold? Gramercy Tavern — where Fleming’s career as a pastry chef began in earnest — is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with “one-night-only specials from Gramercy Tavern alums from across the world,” according to the website. For further information on Fleming’s night at the Manhattan restaurant, Nov. 20, see below as well.
For more information and reservations for Friday’s event at North Fork Table & Inn, 57225 Main Rd., Southold, call 631-765-0177 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For info on Fleming’s Nov. 20 event, visit the Gramercy Tavern website, at gramercytavern.com.