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Quarterly Newsletter Published by Michael's Cookies, Inc.

Issue #11
July 2002

Spotlight On The Stars

John O’Halloran
Executive Pastry Chef

Chicago, renowned for it’s Irish heritage, is home for John O’Halloran who is the Executive Pastry Chef at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

Chef O’Halloran began his pastry career by earning his degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Upon completion of his studies he worked in several fine dining restaurants in the city and suburbs of Chicago honing his pastry skills. Looking for more excitement he was drawn to working within the hotel industry and he was fortunate to join the Fairmont Hotel chain as a pastry chef where he worked for a period of 5 years.

As is common for chefs within the hotel industry he looked for a change from the fast pace of the hotel world and used his formal training to assume the position of General Manager of Desserts Ettcetera - a wholesale baking company. But the lure of the hotel industry was too great so he returned to the Chicago Marriott Downtown as Assistant Pastry Chef and within a year he was promoted to his current position of Executive Pastry Chef. He is a member of the United States Pastry Alliance and has won numerous awards in pastry competitions.

Being of generous spirit Chef O’Halloran wanted to give back to the industry he loves. He has served on the steering committee of Share Our Strength and continues to donate his time and efforts to such fund raising events as the Celebrate Chicago Ball, the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association Gala as well as the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association.

Recipe Round-Up

Ice Cream Sandwiches
With summer fast approaching what better dessert to serve your hot and hungry customers than these delicious cool concoctions. Forget what the neighborhood soda parlor serves, ice cream sandwiches aren’t just for kids anymore. Novel, grown-up versions conjure up the comforting flavors and textures of a childhood classic, with a snappy twist. Let your renditions snub the snack category; make your ice cream sandwiches a standout so they are fancy enough to serve after dinner, no matter how elegant. Or stick to the basics so you can serve your younger customers poolside with more traditional flavors.

The best part of all is that they are not difficult to make. The only work required is to bake the cookies and fill them with either self-made or store-bought ice cream. Be sure to opt for top quality purchases for both the cookies and the ice cream - any dessert is only as good as its ingredients.

For a more sophisticated, restaurant-style presentation, lean the top half of the sandwich against the ice cream rather than sandwiching it completely. Plate the sandwiches with garnishes of an exotic mixture of fresh fruits and sauces. Enhance the ice cream with candy, liquor, chocolate or dried fruit mix-ins. The secret to your success is to let your taste memories resurface and your imagination soar. Unlike making soufflés, there are no dire consequences if you break the rules. In fact, there are no rules. Let your creativity run riot. Wow your customers with your innovative creations. Have fun and stay cool!

Click here to download PDF with more information.

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