Rising Star Pastry Chef Katherine Clapner of Dude, Sweet Chocolate - Biography

Dallas, TX

November 2011

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Dallas native Katherine Clapner started her pastry career at Sam's Café in her hometown, which led to later stints under chefs Charlie Trotter and Kevin Graham. From Dallas, she landed jobs in New Orleans (Windsor Court Hotel), Venice (Hotel Cipriani), and London (Savoy Hotel). By the time of her Texas homecoming, Clapner had gained serious pastry chef creds, which she used at Central Market, opening stores throughout Texas and working in business development.

Her return to the kitchen took her to Mansion at Judges Hill, Ranch 616, and Liberty Tavern and Finn & Porter at the Hilton Hotel in Austin. Making a final move back home, Clapner took on the pastry chef role at Stephan Pyles eponymous restaurant, where her sense of adventure and whimsical desserts earned her a 2007 StarChefs.com Dallas Rising Stars Pastry Chef Award.

Her latest venture is Dude, Sweet Chocolate an artisinal chocolate and dessert boutique in Dallas’s Oak Cliff Neighborhood.