Sweet Home Alabama’s Queen of Pastry: Dolester Miles

In 1988, Frank needed someone to lead the pastry program of his new restaurant, Bottega. Dol wanted in. Thirty-six years later, Frank and Dol are both the best in the country, and they continue to rise together. She is committed to the Stitts’ restaurants and her city. When Dol retires, she wants it to be from here, she says. 

Each of Frank’s restaurants celebrates elements of Southern-style cooking. Dreaming up elevated Southern offerings for Highlands came naturally for Dol. In order to execute Frank’s visions for his other two restaurants, she had to become an expert in two distinctively different baking styles, Italian and French. Dol now creates desserts that rival those served at the finest dining establishments in Europe.

For Bottega’s beloved tiramisù, a dessert Dol had never even heard of before she started working there, she replaced the traditional lady fingers with polenta pound cake and soaked the cake in espresso overnight before slathering each layer with mascarpone custard. “People tell me they’ve been all over the world and mine is the best tiramisù they’ve ever had,” Dol says.

Her repertoire is far-reaching, from the most advanced and extravagant forms of pastry (like the delicate dacquoise, a layered masterpiece of genoise, buttercream, and meringue) to the kind of no-frills-necessary recipes you’d find at your grandmother’s table. She has an unwavering devotion to seasonality. If it’s summertime, Dol is twirling up corn cakes and crumbly berry cobblers. In the fall, apples star in her rustic galettes, and sweet potato pie is served with bourbon crème anglaise. Come winter, don’t miss her sumptuous satsuma cake.

Dol and Frank create new dessert menus from week to week, so the offerings are ever-changing. Dol’s desserts are the kind people get attached to, and patrons tend to voice disappointment if their favorite is taken off the lineup. When they tried to take pot de crème off the menu at Chez Fonfon, a lady wrote to say she refused to eat there again if they didn’t bring it back. They did.

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