Black Sesame | short film

At 13 years old, Maya Erickson was working in a professional kitchen, tasked primarily with filling cookies and wrapping tuiles. She shrugs this detail off now, as if it’s simply a throwaway line unworthy of her bio. As if most newly-turned teenagers must surely have been like her—resisting the temptation to toggle among their screens and choosing, instead, a highly disciplined path.

It is with this kind of casual, unassuming tone that this wunderkind (now she’s in her mid-20s), pastry chef describes her Black Sesame Ice Cream with Black Sesame Pudding, a dessert rooted in her former chef's grandmother’s poppy seed pudding recipe yet presented with a stylized, sexy and provocative manner that’s as arresting and mood-evoking visually as it is to the palate.

Maya created this dessert while working as the pastry chef at Lazy Bear, a San Francisco restaurant that grew from the cult-like following of an underground supper club and whose own chef/owner David Barzelay recently received the nod as a 2016 Food and Wine Best New Chef.

To complement the ice cream and pudding, Maya’s Black Sesame dessert features cassis jam, cassis pate de fruit, dehydrated devil’s food cake, forbidden rice pudding and a light dusting of charcoal. This creation—with its colors and flavors and textures—makes you question what you think you know about food. This is the epitome of Maya’s gift to anyone lucky enough to receive it—a delicately plated, understated, experiential dessert that decadently performs.

- Tanner Latham

*More examples of food work available upon request. Please visit the ABOUT page for contact info.


Director: Jennifer Davick
Executive Producer: Amy Yvonne Yu
Director of Photography: Devin Whetstone
Gaffer: Tej Virdi
Key Grip: Craig Ryan
1st Assistant Camera: Dean Snodgrass
Data Manager: Dakota Smith
Food Stylist: Fanny Pan
Lighting & Equipment: Steelhip
Post Production: Mission Film & Design
Editor: Matthew Notaro
Colorist: Ayumi Ashley
Sound Design: Joel Raabe