As seen in: Lifestyle Magazine Las Olas | December 2016
By Kevin Kaminski, Photo by Evelyn Robles
As if authoring the Declaration of Independence and serving two terms as president of the United States weren’t enough to secure his place in history, Thomas Jefferson and his notorious sweet tooth also may have paved the way for a culinary classic.
It’s said that, during the founding father’s first term in office, one
of the White House state dinners featured a dessert made with ice cream encased in hot pastry—a precursor for what, with a few tweaks and the addition of meringue, would become baked Alaska.
More than two centuries later, Shooters Waterfront (3033 NE 32nd Ave., 954.566.2855) in Fort Lauderdale contributed yet another chapter to the dessert’s storied journey—one that Jefferson no doubt would find irresistible. In December 2014, director of operations Peter Lopez and the Shooters kitchen team added Key lime baked Alaska
to the menu—an ode to the restaurant’s Intracoastal backdrop and relaxed elegance.
“If you look at restaurants along the Intracoastal, everybody has coconut shrimp, everybody has mahi tacos and everybody has Key lime pie,” Lopez says. “We wanted to do something different, something more on the foodie side—but not so far off the charts that you wouldn’t recognize it.”
Lopez also wanted to give diners a rich dessert experience at an affordable price. A similar creation at one of the finer restaurants in South Florida might command upward of $20. At Shooters, it’s $11.
From the moment the dish debuted on the menu, Shooters’ version of baked Alaska—with its spongy ladyfinger cake base, Key lime- flavored ice cream core inside frozen meringue that’s shaped like a rose, and the drizzle of coconut daiquiri sauce that tops it off—was a megahit. On any given day, the restaurant sells between 40 and 60 of the desserts.
“We have ladies who come in and just order baked Alaska—and a bottle of Champagne,” Lopez says.
As with any concoction with as many moving parts as this one, there’s more to Key lime baked Alaska than meets the eye. Lifestyle asked pastry chef Bella Taveras to weigh in on the details.