There are two star chefs popping up on Pastel with a special menu the first weekend in June, mixing and matching fresh flavors from their different heritages. Pastel friends and family already know and love Monique Feybesse of Tarts de Feybesse, who’s baked stunning pastries at Michelin-starred restaurants across the world, including Geranium in Copenhagen, Pavillon LeDoyen in Paris, Atera in New York, and Ninebark and Robert Sinskey in Napa. She’s pulling in friend Robert Hernandez, who’s currently a private chef in San Francisco, coming from many years at Octavia, as well as startups like Cruise and Chef’s Cart. The two became buddies as contestants on Top Chef Season 19 in Houston, where they immediately hit it off as proud reps from the Bay. Both also share that while they’re trained in French and Italian techniques, they haven’t always gotten the opportunity to dig into the foods they actually grew up with.
Feybesse was born and raised in the Bay as part of a big Filipino family, while Hernandez hails from LA with a Mexican mom and Salvadoran dad. So for this special menu, in a departure from their past restaurant cooking, they’ll be digging into Filipino, Mexican, and Salvadoran flavors, although don’t exactly expect lumpia and tacos. “What’s fun is that none of these dishes are super authentic … these are more special in the way that we’re mixing techniques,” Feybesse says. And unlike their past collaborations, which were sit-down dinners sometimes ticketed up to several hundred dollars, this is the first time these two stars have partnered on takeout. They opted for an a la carte menu, so you can mix and match family-style dishes, which should be chill and fun. And this special pop-up menu is available across the entire Bay Area, exclusively through Pastel.
Each star chef will contribute three dishes, for half a dozen total on the menu. Feybesse is kicking in empanadas de kaliskis, which star a laminated dough, deep-fried until extra flaky, and stuffed with rich duck confit. Ensaymada pastries are often spread with sweet butter and sprinkled with processed cheese, but instead she’s brushing brioche with gamey lamb fat and showering with grainy aged cheddar. For dessert, the biko (sticky rice cake) borrows her grandfather’s recipe, layered with caramelized coconut milk, and dusted with lime zest.
Hernandez has got a hot take on Mexican street corn, swapping in peak season Cali asparagus, slashed with lime aioli, salty cotija, and crunchy housemade corn nuts. He’s serving the tamales he always demanded from his mom as a kid, stuffed with sweet rajas and queso Oaxaca for the “perfect cheese pull,” and smothered in richly spiced mole negro. And he’s got a Salvadoran quesadilla for the finale, which is more of a sweet and salty cheese bread, in this case topped with vanilla cream, roasted strawberries, and sesame seeds.
All are slightly larger serving sizes, intended to feed two to four people. So you could order them all for a crowd, pick one side for a tasting menu, or just try one dish! But whatever adventure you choose, it’s a rare opportunity to taste the work of these star chefs with your own family at home.
This special star chef collaboration menu is available for preorder starting Thursday, May 26, for neighborhood pickup on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4.