Hi, My Name Is: Enza Soto

Published on 3 January 2022

Photo: Commune Group's Enza Soto (image: Bass Creative).

Enza Soto has recently returned to Melbourne after spending two years in regional Victoria as a pastry chef at Brae. In her new position as pastry consultant for the Commune Group (Tokyo Tina, New Quarter, Hanoi Hannah) she calls on the sum of her previous experience in hotels, bakeries and Michelin-recognised restaurants to develop unique desserts for each of the brand’s venues.

Hi, my name is Enza Soto.

You might remember me from such establishments as Brae, Baker D. Chirico, Bibelot and The Press Club.

I’ve been cooking for 11 years, five of them in Victoria.

My brief for my new gig is to create unique new desserts for each of the restaurants in the Commune Group.

And I’m passionate about proving that good desserts are not just sweet but can entice the entire palate. I’m actually not a massive sweets person, so it’s in my nature to push the savoury limitations of a dish. I like to open people’s minds about the importance of salt and what it does to any ingredient and dish, even in desserts. Balance is key, like everything else in life.

Which means I’ll be cooking things like lychee bavarois with toasted jasmine whipped ganache, burnt honey, and salted sesame sable.

I’d like you to come in and see us so you can experience a high-energy and vibrant dining experience in various forms. The restaurants across the board offer everything from takeaway Japanese-influenced food to Vietnamese-inspired tasting menus, so there’s something for everyone. However, I would highly recommend a trip to the newer venues, Firebird and New Quarter. I was blown away by the incredible punch of flavour in all the food, the stunning dining rooms, and that each restaurant shows a respectful nod to their cultural inspirations. I’m proud and excited to be contributing to places like these.

And if there’s one thing I don’t want you to leave without trying, it’s burnt salted caramel custard with candied bitter orange and white chocolate chantilly (at Firebird). This twist on the classic crème brûlée isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it’s a rich, luxe dessert – the perfect combination of sweet, bitter and salty. Best paired with good company.

Firebird, 223 High Street, Windsor, firebird.melbourne, @hh.firebird; New Quarter, 79 Swan St, Richmond, newquarter.hanoihannah.com.au  @newquarter; follow Enza Soto on Instagram at @sweeeetpotato

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