From Our Editors
Chef Terry Mille discovered his affinity for cheesecake through unlikely channels: he was first inspired by the sweet treat while performing volunteer work with the American Red Cross following Hurricane Katrina. Stationed in Baton Rouge, Mille and his kitchen staff fed 450 people thrice a day, while he slowly got to know his visitors and began absorbing the region’s culinary character. People told him about their pecan pies, their sweet potato pies, and the pralines they made by hand. Inspired by these anecdotes, Mille returned to Kansas City and made a sweet-potato cheesecake topped with pralines that was a smash with his family members and their coworkers. The orders for more cheesecakes quickly began rolling in.
Today, his kitchen turns out all kinds of inventive cheesecake flavors, from an enchanting lavender crème brûlée to a chocolate-hazelnut creation poised on a chocolate-brownie crust. Year-round selections such as the turtle cheesecake, which blends toasted pecans with caramel and dark chocolate, coexist with seasonal treats such as a Meyer-lemon curd with blueberry filling atop a lemon-cake crust.