Discover How Khanh Tran of The Bachelor Farmer Creates the Perfect Plate

Khanh Tran, the lauded pastry chef at the Bachelor Farmer, approaches her work with a use-what-you-have mindset. “I was born in Vietnam, and we didn’t throw anything away,” she explains. Her black vanilla ice cream, for example, uses scraps of vanilla bean; burnt-caramel ice cream salvaged a mistake to delicious effect (“I kept burning batches of caramel because the stove was across the kitchen”). Tran’s desserts are inspired by familiar flavors tweaked by creative contrasts. “At home I do pumpkin pie, but for the restaurant, I didn’t want to go the whole way there—I wanted to refine it,” she explains of her freeform pumpkin custard, served with an almond sable cookie in lieu of a crust. “It’s about taking those warm flavors and figuring out how to make them work in a plated dessert.” Although there were missteps along the way—Tran first tried adding sage directly to the pumpkin custard (“awful”), then created a sage syrup that wouldn’t overwhelm the pumpkin flavor. “It’s about blending the core of a classic with what’s modern,” she says.

Khanh Tran with her staff at The Bachelor Farmer

The Bachelor Farmer Chef Khanh Tran's notes

The Bachelor Farmer Chef Khanh Tran

Dough at The Bachelor Farmer

Candied sage at The Bachelor Farmer

The Bachelor Farmer ice cream

Chef Khanh Tran of the Bachelor Farmer

The Bachelor Farmer dessert

The Bachelor Farmer final plate

Perfect Plate

Part 1: Chef Steven Brown of Tilia

Part 2: Chef Håkan Lundberg of The Minneapolis Club

Part 3: Chef Landon Schoenefeld of Nighthawks