North Carolina native Ashley Brauze grew up surrounded by simple, satisfying comfort foods, and her first foray in the industry was a job rolling bagels Bruegger’s Bagel Shop. But a culinary school degree from Johnson & Wales in Charleston, South Carolina, and a revelatory trip to New York City would change all that. As a tourist, Brauze dined at Daniel Boulud’s Restaurant Daniel, and she instantly fell in love with the world of fine-dining.
She packed her bags and moved to the city, returning to Daniel in 2005. This time around she wasn’t Michelin three-star dining—instead Brauze was getting a world-class pastry education crafting petits fours under Pastry Chef Jean François Bonnet. In 2007, Brauze and her husband, fellow Daniel alum Chad Brauze, were both invited to work at Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli in Spain, where Brauze worked alongside Pastry Chef Albert Adrià on dishes for his celebrated cookbook, Natura. Upon returning to New York City, the couple spent a year cooking at Per Se.
Having worked in top pastry kitchens on both sides of the Atlantic, Brauze gained top-notch skills and experience that she brought back to the Boulud empire with a role at Café Boulud with Raphael Haasz. Today, she is the pastry chef at DB Bistro Moderne, where she consistently creates dessert menu that blend restaurant’s bistro ethos with her own sophisticated elegance and creativity.In 2013, Brauze was named 2013 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef.