In broad terms, Tim’s work at Cravings is a cornerstone for which all fine pastry can (and rightfully should) be judged in our town. From tarts to tortes, brownies to blondies, cakes to all kinds of wonderful cookies, Tim is a true master of his craft, and we are all the richer (and more insulin-producing) for his seemingly tireless dedication to all things sweet. Few people ever mention Tim’s James Beard accomplishments, but they are indeed significant. Before there were any invitations to cook at those hallowed grounds on the edge of New York’s Greenwich Village or nominations for Best Chef or Best New Restaurant, there was a mild-mannered pastry chef in Webster Groves who had won two coveted national awards. He clearly put St. Louis on the James Beard culinary map.

It is one dessert, however, to which I must draw your undivided attention, and for very good reason. If I could name a dessert that brought me back home to St. Louis, it is Cravings’ lime-blueberry bombe.

In 1995, when I was contemplating someday opening my own restaurant, Tim Brennan won his second Best Dessert in the Midwest award with his lime-blueberry bombe. (He had already won a Best Dessert nod from James Beard for his hazelnut zuccotto in 1993.)

The lime-blueberry bombe is ethereal. Tart yet sweet, creamy and fruity, it is the quintessential summer dessert, and yet I crave it year-round. Being a blueberry and citrus fan, I salivate thinking about it. Although I’m known for a particular brioche bread pudding, I would sit down to a piece of deceptively light bombe just about any day of the week.

Besides operating his small restaurant in downtown Webster Groves, Tim remains one of St. Louis’ best caterers. My wife, Jen, and I were lucky to enlist his talents for our wedding nearly two years ago. There were hundreds of delectable goodies, from apple pies and berry tortes to fancy cupcakes, but I made sure to secure a piece of wedding-day bliss: a slice of lime-blueberry bombe!

– Stephen Gontram, Five Star Burgers

Cravings, 8149 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, 314.961.3534,