Rising Star Pastry Chef Maximo Santiago of Gansevoort Miami Beach - Biography

Miami Beach, FL

November 2011
Max Santiago grew up in Southwest Miami. After high school, he completed a four-year tour of service in the US Air Force before turning to a career in culinary arts. Santiago then received a diploma in cooking from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, where he learned the fundamentals of cooking and pastry. While he excelled as a chef, Santiago clicked right away with pastry. He worked his way through a number of Florida’s top pastry kitchens, including Mark’s on Las Olas, Max’s Grille, Mark’s at the Park, Paramount Grille, Chef Allen’s, and the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove. In 2003, he joined Star Chef Norman Van Aken’s team at Mundo New World Café, where he oversaw a team in producing creative desserts and pastries. His hard work and creativity earned him a nod from StarChefs.com in 2004 with a Rising Stars Pastry Chef Award. He later moved onto the Gansevoort Hotel in South Beach where he continues to craft up innovative sweets. Santiago dedicates 100 percent of his life to creating artful desserts. For him, pastry is his mode of expression, and he takes his art seriously. Organized beyond belief, he photographs every dish and writes down every recipe he creates. He even keeps an alphabetical book of every original recipe. He has developed everything from a line of healthy desserts that are low carb, low fat, and gluten free to tropical fruit-packed dessert sushi.