Peter Scarola didn’t waste any time answering his professional calling. In high school he worked part time as a baker’s assistant at The Hearth Baker in suburban Lansdale, Pennsylvania. After graduation, he attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He stuck around the city for a few jobs before landing at Keswick Hall in Charlottesville, Virginia. A launching pad for fine-dining chefs, Scarola left Keswick to work pastry posts for Rosewood Hotels in Puerto Rico and the Grenadines.
Scarola then hit the big leagues of modern American pastry, crafting sweets in Chicago under Thierry Tristch for four years at Everest and staging at Charlie Trotter’s. Eventually, Scarola decided to move back home but to push himself no less as pastry chef at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse Hotel. In 2006, he transitioned into a job at The Inn at St. Peter’s Village before teaming up with Chef Daniel Stern at now-shuttered Rae.
In 2010, when Stern opened opulent R2L
on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place, he again chose Scarola to lead his pastry department. At R2L
, Scarola’s French training and bold American approach to flavor are the foundations of the most exciting and robust pastry program in the city (and the qualities that earned him a 2013 StarChefs.com Rising Star Pastry Chef Award). He and his team of pastry cooks make everything from mignardises and elegant pre-desserts to chocolate chip cookies and scones—even the house-made breads that first inspired his career in the kitchen.