Kate Zuckerman got her culinary start as a line cook, but that was after she earned a degree in cultural anthropology from Princeton. A library wasn’t her scene, but a restaurant kitchen was. She started out doing apprenticeships in Boston under Lydia Shire at Biba and Rick Katz at The Bentonwood Bakery. She then worked as a savory cook, pastry cook, pastry stagier, and pastry chef at restaurants in San Francisco, Paris, and New York.
With practice and practical experience, Zuckerman mastered classic techniques and execution. She has been the pastry chef at Chanterelle since 1999; her desserts feature fresh, seasonal ingredients, cleanly executed design, and textural contrasts. Her overriding belief is in the centrality of simple, pure, complimentary flavor; her favorite combinations are coconut and cardamom and star anise and maple. Zuckerman’s menus, which change monthly, reflect a growing and evolving sensitivity towards sourcing and sustainability.
Zuckerman’s desserts have earned praise and been featured in Food + Wine, Art Culinaire, Food Arts, New York Observer, and Time Out New York. The New York Times described a tasting of her caramel desserts as a “life-changing experience.” Her first cookbook, The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle, was published in the fall of 2006.