Chef Michael Laiskonis of Institute of Culinary Education - Biography

New York, NY

September 2015

Michael Laiskonis is one of the preeminent chefs working in pastry today. He first rose to prominence during his eight year tenure as executive pastry chef of Le Bernardin, during which time the restaurant earned four stars from The New York Times and three Michelin stars. Known for exquisite, modern desserts that balance art and science with a nod to the classics, Laiskonis' renown is an apt reflection of his introduction to the craft. He was a visual arts major who discovered that the techniques and traditions he studied translated well to the discipline and creativity of pastry.

Laiskonis found the perfect venue for his creative vision at Le Bernardin, where he was named one of America's Top Ten Pastry Chefs by Pastry Art & Design in 2002 and 2003 and was Bon Appétit's Pastry Chef of the Year in 2004. Laiskonis was a 2006 StarChefs Rising Star and a recipient of James Beard's “Outstanding Pastry Chef” award in 2007. He's a consultant for Ritz Carlton, Starbucks, and has been the Creative Director of The Institute of Culinary Education since 2012. In 2014, Laiskonis received the IACP's Culinary Professional of the Year Award. His writing has been published in Gourmet, Saveur, The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and the 2011 anthology The Kitchen as Laboratory, as well as on his own blogs.

As a luminary and leader, Laiskonis strives to inspire the next generation of pastry chefs to tell more personal stories and guide them toward finding their own voices.