Rising Star Pastry Chef Tracy Obolsky of North End Grill - Biography

New York, NY

February 2015

Tracy Obolsky never intended to work in a kitchen, or in pastry, for that matter. In 2004, as a new alumna of Pratt Institute with a bachelor of fine arts in illustration, she could have stayed out of the kitchen—if it wasn’t for her grandmother’s dessert recipes. In the midst of casually experimenting with them, Obolsky was surprised to discover a zeal for pastry.

She enrolled at the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center), filling out an already ingrained sense of style and composition with the foundations of classical pastry. The combination worked. After graduating, Obolsky was hired and quickly promoted to pastry chef at Borough Food and Drink. Next came Madison and Vine, where she oversaw all pastry production, and then the first Five Napkin Burger locations, where she helped develop the pastry program.

A stint at Cookshop in 2008 was followed by General Greene in Brooklyn, where Obolsky developed the recipes for Greene Ice Cream (which The New York Times dubbed “the holy grail of all ice creams in New York City”). In 2010, Obolsky took the lead pastry role at Esca, where she worked for four years. In 2013, she joined the team of North End Grill—all by the time she was 30, and less than 10 years into an unexpected, artful career. Obolsky earned a StarChefs Rising Star Pastry Chef Award in 2015 for her work at North End Grill.