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The Little Nell’s pastry chef, Chris Guzman, is giving a whirl to some of his decadent creations this summer—literally. Inspired by French pastry master Yann Brys, Guzman creates the spiral of vanilla cream that tops Ajax Tavern’s rhubarb tart with panna cotta (and ices custom cakes) on a vintage record player he recently picked up for $15 at a local thrift store.

The machine is much more affordable than a motorized cake-decorating turntable—plus more efficient and way more fun than a manual one. Guzman likes the record player both for its unexpected second life in the kitchen and its mechanical roots. “I grew up doing carpentry, so whenever I can use power tools in the kitchen, I’ll go for it,” he notes. “I also use an industrial heat gun for my chocolate work.” He briefly considered a kids’ pottery wheel for the icing task but thought the motor wouldn’t be strong enough to spin a cake.

No word yet on whether dessert morphs into something diabolical if the turntable is operated in reverse. thelittlenell.com

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Ajax Tavern

$$$ New American 685 E. Durant Ave.

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