When Ewald Notter agreed to film an Online Video class at Pastry University I cant tell you how thrilled I was. Chef notter has spent most of his life teaching sugar art to the Pastry World and the Pastry Community is better off because of it. In my opinion Chef Notter is the most influential sugar artist in the world hands down. His accomplishments are many and the high point probably being when he won the gold medal with the U.S. team at the Coupe Du Monde in Lyon while receiving the highest score ever recorded for sugar work. It is rumored that he achieved a perfect score and at the last minute one of the judges took a point off to make the statement that no piece is ever perfect. When I had the chance to ask Chef about it he shrugged it off shyly and laughingly said. ” oh, I don’t know about that”. You see Chef Notter is a humble Chef .As accomplished as he is he seems uncomfortable receiving accolades.
I first got to know chef when he agreed to do a seminar for Pastry Live a couple of years ago.He asked if his son Nicoll could help do the class with him. I said sure I think its great. I thought is was awesome to see a son working his dad, and following in the trail so proudly laid out by two talented parents. When Chef arrived what I first realized is how genuinely nice he is. He was polite and complimentary to myself, my staff, students and anyone else he was approached by. The next thing i noticed was how organized and self sufficient he was. HE and nicoll got to work setting up and almost never asked for a thing. If they needed something they would find it themselves. I cannot tell you how great that is for someone that is organizing an event and let me tell you that having worked with many talented and famous chefs in the past that he hardly the case. Needless to say the seminar was great and before leaving chef thanked my for running “such a great event”.
When I asked Chef what type of class he wanted to do at Pastry University he said, “we need to start with the basics. Like any master he knows the foundation for any great work is in the basic skills. So Chef decided to do an introduction to sugar and isomalt, and an Introduction to pastillage. When he arrived the day before the shoot he was organized and didn’t need much from us at all. HE had an assistant but barely needed their assistance. The next day when it was time to shoot he was already set up when the crew arrived. He shot all day and was eager to listen to the staffs suggestions and the crews stopping and having him do things again for a better angle or a different shot to use. I never seemed to throw him off. He managed to get in more than I ever thought we would and at the end chef apologized for not being able to get more done. At the end of the day w cracked open a beer , and chef shared a few stories and a few laughs with everyone on set. Everyone really enjoyed the day and knew they were part of something great. You see We are so lucky to have captured Chef’s work on film. We have a true master teaching his trade. You see styles and trends change but the basics are always the same. And if you are going to learn the basics it might as well be from a world Champion. If you want to learn the basics of sugar work or pastillage take a class. I’m sure you will like it. The crew here at Pastry University is proud of this one. Thank you Chef Notter!