Growing up in San Diego, Stephanie Prida saw herself pursuing a career as an artist. But a developing appreciation of food drew Prida to the culinary world and fueled her decision to shift career paths. After graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Prida began her career with a pastry internship at The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas. She further honed her pastry skills working at RM Seafood and Tableau in Las Vegas, and then later at La Jolla’s Georges at the Cove. Wanting to learn about food on a global scale, Prida spent four months in Italy, staging at Nogarazza in Vicenza.
An opportunity to spearhead the pastry program at One Sixty Blue drew Prida to Chicago, where she began to make a name for herself. Next, as pastry sous chef at Blackbird, she was recognized for her talent, earning the Jean Banchet “Rising Pastry Chef” award in 2009. Prida began setting her sights on running a larger pastry program and accepted a pastry chef position at the Elysian Hotel in Chicago. In this role, Prida oversaw the pastry and bread program for now-shuttered RIA, the hotel’s two-Michelin starred restaurant, Balsan, and in-house dining and events. Prida later accepted the role of pastry chef for the Michelin-starred L2O, working alongside Laurent Gras.
After nearly four years in Chicago, the California native was drawn back to the West Coast, joining David Kinch’s team at Manresa as pastry chef. Inspired by the restaurant’s dedication to produce and the natural beauty that surrounds the area, Prida combines timeless elegance and modern naturalistic sensibility in her refined dessert program.