Pastry Chef Melissa Chou of Aziza - Biography

San Francisco, CA

April 2010

Pastry Chef Melissa Chou’s talent with pastry belies her five years of experience in the kitchen. The one-time Vassar College art history student had intended to pursue a career in art, but instead chose to indulge her interest in cooking and enrolled in a part-time pastry program at Tante Marie’s Cooking School. She soon took her first culinary job at Quince, where she worked for a year before moving on to The Presidio Social Club as pastry sous chef. It was here that she met her mentor, Consulting Chef Phil Ogiela.

She would soon become pastry chef at Aziza, where she has now been working for three years; her delicate desserts are packed with big flavors that are still balanced and somehow subtle. She eloquently slips nuances of Moroccan flavors (rose water, honey, and mint) into her dishes that are natural finales to 2007 San Francisco Rising Star Executive Chef Mourad Lahlou and Chef de Cuisine Louis Maldonado’s entrées. In 2009 Melissa was named a San Francisco Chronicle Rising Star, and later in the year Aziza was awarded a Michelin star. As for the future, Chou has her sights set on eventually landing a gig in Paris and eventually having her own restaurant.