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Transition a Treat for Pastry Chef

03/12/15
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Tim Fonseca (Photo by Caitlin Cunningham)

By Sean Hennessey | Chronicle Staff

Published: Mar. 12, 2015

Boston College Dining Services’ new executive pastry chef wants to take your mind off of academics, if only for a moment.

“I want whatever we make to haunt them just a little bit,” says Tim Fonseca with a laugh.  “I want students and faculty to wake up in the middle of the night thinking about something other than their studies. I want them thinking about that pastry experience they had and wanting more of it.”

Fonseca is enjoying his first year at BC after gaining an international flair through 16 years as executive pastry chef at Boston’s premier hotel, the Four Seasons. When he arrived here last semester, he found a bakery team full of talent already performing at a high standard. Now, he just wants to raise that bar a little higher through attention to “the quality of the ingredients, the flavors, the visual look of how we’re doing things,” he says.

 “Incrementally, we’re bringing a little bit of that to every aspect of the operation.“

Fonseca has been introducing special pastries for the holidays and his monthly themes. This month features lemon financier with sweetened vanilla bean creme fraiche and cherry pistachio white chocolate nut tart; next month’s French theme will offer a bittersweet chocolate chambord tart with fresh raspberries.

“We’re trying to bring some of those luxury market items and the five-star pastry dining to the Boston College campus,” says Fonseca.

Fonseca loves the change in scenery – “working around students and the culture of young energy has been very refreshing” – and embraces the challenge that comes with diverse orders and multiple campus locations.

“We might have 300 dozen cookies on the same day we have a very high-end dessert going out for a VIP event, so being able to juggle the two sides has definitely been an interesting change.”

Having been featured on the Travel Channel and Food Network while earning rave reviews from a number of area newspapers, Fonseca says he’s addicted to the creativity, focus and precision that pastry requires, and he’s hoping that’s the recipe for getting high marks from his new audience.

“Someone said to me they could never imagine there being a gold leaf on a cupcake here at BC a year ago, but now they’re actually seeing it.”