Sebastian Motoasca, Pastry Chef at Boca West Country Club, Boca Raton, Florida, USA. Image courtesy Boca West.
On a recent trip to Boca West Country Club last October, Darlene Wright, (who has been the personal assistant of now retired and beloved General Manager Jay DiPietro for over 20 years), told me about Sebastian, his Romanian roots and how talented he is with pastries and desserts. Once I met Sebastian, I saw his talent and had to talk to him. ~ Diana DeLucia
GK: What brought you from Romania to the USA?
Before I came to America, I lived in Romania, and worked in a bakery making bread and croissants. I was learning from my cousin, and after that I went to school in Romania to learn the baking trade. In 2001, I had a desire to visit the United States, and started working for Carnival Cruise Lines. I learned a lot about pastries and desserts while working for Carnival. In 2005 I left Carnival, and I started working at the Polo Club in Florida. I enjoyed working at the Polo Club making pastries, and in 2007 I came to Boca West.
GK: How did you get the position at Boca West?
When I was working at the Polo Club of Boca Raton, I had some friends who were working at Boca West Country Club. I came
to see Chef Roger Brock, and after one season I moved over here permanently. Boca West has a unique glue about it that keeps everyone together. I love the management, and I love the chef and the team. There is so much activity here, especially in the dining scene. They give me the freedom to create whatever I want, and I have a lot of ideas running through my head! I learn every day I am here, and I like to find new beautiful ways to present my pastries, cakes, and desserts for the members and guests. I love testing new products, and am always looking for something new. I look for different shapes and different colors.
GK: Tell us about Norman Love.
Norman Love is the founder of the renowned Norman Love Confections. We have Norman Love chocolates in our boutique. I was fortunate to visit Norman Loves factory, and I took some classes there, and especially enjoyed creating the chocolate towers and small desserts. It was a fantastic challenge to be there, and it was great to meet Chef Love.
GK: What is your favorite pastry?
My favorite pastry, and surprisingly I personally am not a big fan of chocolate; rather I like everything that is made with fresh fruit. I like pies, mousses with fresh peaches, strawberries, and mango; we do a lot of different mousse flavors here. Everything I do here is made from scratch. I like to use the best quality ingredients and whatever is natural. You will not find a lot of artificial ingredients in my desserts.
GK: What do the members say about your pastries and desserts?
When we create many of our buffets, the members often tell me how much they love my pastries, and they can’t believe some of the desserts I create as they have never experienced anything like them before. I have been to so many places, and I don’t see as many beautiful creations like what we do here at Boca West.
GK: Do you play golf?
The first time I played golf was at Madden’s on Gull Lake in Minnesota. I was working at an event there. They had three or four golf courses at that time and I fell in love with golf. I have not played at Boca West, I wanted to play this summer but had missed the classes. I want to learn so I can compete in the staff tournament we have here every year.
GK: Tell us what your plans are in the future.
My dream is to continually improve and find as many new things as I can to present to our members. I want to continue to create new designs; I love the beauty I can create with pastry and dessert. I strive for perfection in everything I do. I have been working in pastry since I was 14 and I never get tired of it; I am 36 now. In the future, I would love to have my own store!
GK: Tell us about your love of fishing and why your nickname is Seabass.
In Romania, as a child, we went fishing a lot, and when I came to the USA, everything was so different. I like fishing, and seabass is my favorite fish. They probably combined that with my name Sebastian, Chef calls me Seabass all the time [laughs]. Ilike fly fishing too, but in Florida, there is not very much of that going on. Here I love to fish in the ocean, sometimes I take a boat out, and sometimes I fish from the pier. We catch bluefish, mackerel, dolphin fish (Mahi-mahi), king fish, and red snapper.For me however, sea bass is the most beautiful fish and very tasty.
~ by Diana DeLucia
Profiteroles, recipe by Sebastian Motoasca. Image by Diana Delucia.