A native of White Plains, New York, Rebecca Cohen was never more than an hour away from one of the world's great culinary epicenters. And maybe it was this proximity—but probably something a little deeper—that motivated Cohen to begin her cooking career at just 21 years old. After a brief soujourn into the wilds of academia—she got her BA in Italian Literature from the University of Connecticut in 2007—Cohen tuned into that deeper passion, heading West, like all good explorers, for an on-the-job culinary education.
Cohen landed first in San Francisco, and then in the kitchen of Sens Restaurant, in her first kitchen position under Pastry Chef (and 2011 New York Rising Star) Shuna Lydon. In May of 2008, Cohen moved on to Delfina, where she worked under Koa Duncan for just over a year before joining the team at Quince under 2013 Rising Star William Werner. Another guiding influence for Cohen's career is her Rising Star Pastry Chef peer, Kelly Fields, whom she met in San Francisco. With training under four strong leaders, Cohen gave into some latent wanderlust, traveling and eating her way around New Zealand for several months in early 2010. And as fate would have it, her return trip brought her to the welcoming southern bosom of New Orleans, where she began as pastry cook at 2003 Rising Star Chef Scott Boswell's Stella! in May of 2010.
At Stella!, Cohen rose to pastry chef in 9 months while practicing a strict mantra: "If it's not right it's garbage." It may sound harsh, but it's a testament to the standard of quality the young pastry chef developed along her culinary journey, and in 2012 it earned her recognition as a New Orleans Rising Star.
That summer, Cohen left her New Orleans digs for the hustle of New York City, joining the team at Dominique Ansel Bakery, where she worked until early 2013.
Currently, StarChefs.com is happy to have Cohen on our editorial team. A great addition, she brings her wealth of pastry knowledge and expertise and has helped jump start our new Whipped Newsletter. She is also a freelance food stylist and pastry chef as well as publisher of www.rampantappetite.com