2017 New York City Rising Star Pastry Chef Fabian von Hauske of Contra and Wildair

2017 New York City Rising Star Pastry Chef Fabian von Hauske of Contra and Wildair
January 2017

At 16, becoming a pastry chef was not on Fabian von Hauske’s list of priorities. That agenda was more like: consider working in graphic design, thrash around with a posthardcore band … and, you know, other stuff 16-year-old boys think about. Then he went to work in a coffee shop.

Working in the kitchen of that café cemented a love for cooking in von Hauske’s blood and turned his career trajectory on its head, eventually steering him toward the International Culinary Center in New York. It was there that he met Jeremiah Stone with whom he would later open Contra and Wildair, the two side-by-side New York City restaurants.

Before opening Contra, von Hauske worked for Johnny Iuzzini at Jean Georges and then 
Dave Arnold’s modernist East Village bar, Booker and Dax. He also spent time in the kitchens of Noma, Fäviken, and Attica, adhering to his motto: “Find someone who will teach you what you want to learn."

For his work at Contra and Wildair, where he also influences the savory menu, Eater named von Hauske among its “Young Guns” for New York City in 2014, and in 2015 Wildair received two stars in The New York Times. That same year, von Hauske won Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Chef,” and he and Stone landed on the magazine’s “Best New Chefs” list in 2016. Also in 2016, Condé Naste Traveler named him one of “10 Young Chefs to Watch,” and he made Forbes’ list of “30 Under 30: Food & Drink,” while Wildair was nominated for James Beard’s “Best New Restaurant.”