If Chris Ford weren’t a pastry chef, he might have been a fashion photographer. The subjects of his photographs today are much, much sweeter than the snaps of pouty, starved supermodels or arty shots filled with vacuous negative space that he might have produced as a photographer.
A photography enthusiast, blogger, and quenelling machine, Ford regularly posts flawless shots of his latest experiment, whether its his favorite new black sesame-chocolate macaroon creation or whatever the latest raw ingredient that catches his fancy. The fact that he’s only 24 doesn’t seem to hold him back. He is busy making plans, like publishing his first cookbook by the time he’s 30.
A Florida native, Ford enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu Program at the Orlando Culinary Academy. His externship site, Norman’s of Norman Van Aken at The Ritz-Carlton would end up being his first kitchen job after graduation. Here he met Clayton Miller, who is now executive chef at Trummer’s on Main. They worked together for two years before Ford left for the bright lights of New York City and a sous chef position at quirky dessert bar ChikaLicious. Chef-owner Chika Tillman’s ingredient-centric, modernistic dessert aesthetic had an enormous impact on him during his two years there and helped him make delicate flavors sing.
Anxious to conquer new culinary terrain, Ford moved to the small town of Clifton, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC, where he took on the pastry chef position at Trummer’s on Main, where Ford and Miller received coveted accolades and generous criticism. He then worked a brief stint back in the Capitol, at R.J. Cooper's Rogue 24, before heading South in 2011, taking on the sweets at Michael Mina's Baltimore restaurant Wit & Wisdom and earning Food & Wine’s inaugural “People’s Best New Pastry Chef” for 2012.