FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

The Art of Dessert Pairing with Executive Chef Jorge Oliveira, Rosen Shingle Creek

by Debra Bokur

Feb 14, 2020

Evgenii Zinovev | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Pairing flavors is all the rage these days. Since no one wants to ruin dessert, we asked Executive Chef Jorge Oliveira at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida, to give us a quick course in choosing a dessert to complete a meal without ruining the main course experience. Here’s what he had to say:


WhereverFamily.com: So, what’s the secret? If your main course is creamy or features lots of cheese, does that mean you should avoid a dairy-based dessert?


Chef Oliveira: There is an art to pairing flavors in culinary and pastry. I oftentimes recommend pairings that are a bit unexpected. For instance, I don’t disqualify a creamy or dairy-based dessert because it would be paired with a cheese entrée. An example might be a dessert of grilled poundcake panini sandwich with mascarpone and fig to go with an entree of fresh fruit salad sprinkled with goat cheese.


If a heavy cheese-based dish is the main course, I would consider a light wine-poached fruit dessert. Or, if it’s summertime, maybe a semifreddo or granita. I also like to pair the dessert to the protein being served, and create desserts to complement the menu. For example, for a steak with reduced wine demi glaze, I might create a dish that has chocolate or coffee flavors (a tiramisu with a twist) or acidic fruits like raspberry and blackberry.

Chef Oliveira. Photo: Rosen Shingle Creek


For fish, I typically go with a lighter citrus flavor. Chicken works with more of a mousse-based dessert, or a grilled poundcake or angel food cake served with fresh fruits with herbs or compressed fruits.


WF:  Do you have any thoughts on the topic of dessert wines? I’ve had a few chefs tell me they think it should be one or the other: a sweet, finishing wine or a dessert, but not both.


CO: Typically, a glass of wine is between 100 to 300 calories, while a mini dessert is about 90 to 150 calories. I say have a smaller portion of both! I’ve been involved with many wine dinners in the past where we’ve paired the wine with the dessert, maybe in a smaller portion or even with a twist — for instance, wine spritzers with a dessert that also included some house-made, chocolate-infused truffles, all on the same plate.


It’s been my experience in recent years that most people enjoy sweets in smaller portions, but with more powerful flavors. Here at Rosen Shingle Creek, we have started using chocolates infused with unique flavors like the Japanese Yuzu fruit, passionfruit, and smooth, buttery Dulcey Caramel chocolate to create memorable desserts and treats. Of course, time-honored flavors like strawberry are still popular, too. We have 15 dining and lounging options at Rosen Shingle Creek, including two AAA Four Diamond restaurants, so we have fun changing up the menus and offering seasonal desserts that pair nicely with our extensive wine and spirits lists.


WF: What are you own favorite desserts or pastries?


CO: For breakfast pastries, nothing compares to a warm cinnamon bun, cool “Sticky Bun” or really any puff pastry breakfast item. With the trend of gluten-free baking, it’s becoming a lost art.


We are just as honored when a family gets excited about one of our desserts as when a group of thousands do. At a hotel with 1,501 guestrooms and more than a half million square feet of meeting and event space where we host many of Orlando’s largest galas as well as national conventions, you can imagine that this happens quite a bit  — and we love it!


Recently, for the Premiere Orlando beauty show, a national hair coloring company challenged us to create 6,000 desserts that matched the dozen new shades of hair coloring they were introducing to their line. With color swatches in hand, we created a dozen different desserts to showcase each color, and lined them up and down a 24-foot length of table — and then reversed the colors of each dessert on the opposite end of the table. Our client and the guests loved seeing the shades in sweet formation and being able to experience the line in such a unique way.


We also create custom-order desserts, sugar creations and even mini or large chocolate sculptures. These can be presented as a special in-room amenity or at a party or gathering at the hotel. We love sweetening up a guest’s stay in unique ways.


Insta Feed
Destinations / Europe
Mar 16, 2023

Kids’ Guide to Ancient Sites in England

Kids are fascinated by mysteries, so spotting the enigmatic stone structures dotting the English countryside can be a great treasure hunt to keep kids engaged during your family’s travels in England. These stones and the museums that explain the larger ones are a tantalizing glimpse into the Bronze and Iron Ages.

United Airlines Celebrates its First Class of United Aviate Graduates

As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.

Mar 16, 2023

Airlines Introducing, Altering Family Seating Policies

Anyone who has traveled with family knows the difficulty in not only booking seats together but also avoiding an extra charge to group a family together. Now, however, several airlines announce upgrades and changes to family seating policies in the wake of the Biden administration cracking down on airlines charging families to sit together.

Destinations / North America
Mar 16, 2023

6 Wisconsin Cities for Family Travel in 2023

Finding the right destination to cater to all age groups can sometimes be difficult for family travelers, but Wisconsin offers a wide variety of great family-friendly cities for those looking for a Midwest vacation this year. Here are six Wisconsin cities to consider adding to your family’s travels in 2023:

Destinations / North America
Mar 16, 2023

5 Family-Friendly Museum Restaurants in Florida

Combine culture with culinary during family travel to Florida at these five family-friendly museum restaurants.

Mar 16, 2023

7 Tbilisi, Georgia, Destinations for Family Travel

It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Tbilisi, Georgia, with us.