SHOR, Los Angeles’ latest bazaar-inspired eatery is not only elevating Desi (South Asian) cuisine with high end kabobs, curries, and Australian Wagyu, but their team is bringing their authentic flavor to the sweets scene, thoughtfully led by Chef Mark Medina. 

Medina brings with him a formal education from Le Cordon Bleu and accolades from Tamarind of London as he collaborated with SHOR’s co-founder and Executive Chef Imran ‘Ali’ Mookhi as their Executive Pastry Chef. With the mission to share rich traditions and authentic flavors of the Indian subcontinent, Chef Medina has collaborated with Chef Ali to curate a unique and thoughtful dessert menu that both pays homage to traditional ingredients while revolutionizing the modern dessert.

Medina finds inspiration in many walks of his life, from traveling to new cities to escaping in the great outdoors, you will find him eating and cooking during both activities. His travels and passion for creativity have aided him in curating a brand new pastry menu at SHOR, as Medina has mastered the craft at paying homage to tradition while finding unique ways to modernize a dish.

Guests discover the blend of traditional and modern confections through bites of his Karachi (New York) Cheesecake, Akwandu Banana Crème Brûlée, Cardamom Poached Pear, Rasmalai Peach Rose Milk Cake, Bangali Rasogolla, and so much more.

“I find that incorporating a twist within the formula, whether it's an unusual ingredient or a unique preparation technique, is what transforms a traditional classic dessert into a new and exciting culinary experience,” explains Medina, in a Bake interview. “This approach captures all the essence of a particular classic dish but presents it in a fresh light. Creativity is the key. The familiar flavors remain, but they are offered in a different form, making the dish new, fun, and exciting.”

One example featured on the dessert menu at SHOR is a banana crème brûlée that is plated in a free-form fashion, meaning it is served without a traditional dish. Instead, it is nestled on top of a meringue cookie or dacquoise, accompanied by the traditional brûléed sugar crust, and garnished with caramelized bananas, berries, and sea salt caramel. The methods used to create these desserts range from standard to molecular gastronomy preparation techniques.

Ingredients like saffron, cardamom, goat's milk cheese, honey, and pistachios play a significant role in the dessert menu, says Medina, adding, “I believe guests would not only be interested in seeing them but also come to expect their presence.”

He strives to use ingredients indigenous to or widely utilized in the region from which the menu is derived, with a particular focus on countries like Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan.

“Additionally, I pay homage to the culture of the people by presenting these ingredients in a unique way that invokes traditional flavor profiles and a sense of familiarity.” Medina explains.

Another source of inspiration, of course, is the ingredients.

“I relish the challenge of incorporating various spices and unique ingredients into a dessert dish that are typically reserved for savory applications and wouldn’t necessarily be thought of as dessert components,” he points out. “I believe customers are seeking something new and different without venturing too far from the familiar tastes here in America. I sense that guests desire a blend of familiarity and creativity, concealed within culinary innovation. Ultimately, for me, it's all about delivering the 'wow' factor.”