1. The Next Step in Pastry
We’ve excitedly watched as a generation of pastry chefs advance the ranks of the industry’s top kitchens and go on to their next big step (continuing to inspire the cooks underneath them in the process). From Michael Laiskonis’ move from Le Bernardin earlier this year to running the pastry program at the Institute of Culinary Education to Sherry Yard's recent departure from Spago after nearly 20 years to open her dream bakery, some of this industry's most influential vets are finding their next game-changing move beyond the restaurant. 2011 New York Rising Star Jenny McCoy left Craft and branched into retail with Cissé Trading Co., a line of fair trade, organic baking mixes (carried at Whole Foods), while StarChef.com’s own 2012 International Pastry Competition coordinator and Food Genius maven, Katie Rosenhouse, brought her bite-sized dessert concept “lovebites” to brick-and-mortar locale with the opening of Chelsea Market’s Doughnuttery. Others are getting more creative with their move beyond the executive chef title. Sam Mason’s empire includes his Lady Jay’s bar, Empire Mayonnaise retail locale, and plans for next year’s Odd Fellows ice cream venture, all of which he has alluded might finance a future restaurant. And in between the ICC Pastry Competition, "Top Chef: Just Desserts," and his motorcycle adventures, Johnny Iuzzini continues to work out details for his forthcoming coffee roaster/chocolate factory.
Pastry Chefs gone rogue at the Not Just Desserts: State of the Pastry Industry panel at ICC 2012