Interview with Los Angeles Rising Star Pastry Chef David Rodriguez of Providence

by Antoinette Bruno
May 2014

Antoinette Bruno: How much play do you have with Michael [Cimarusti]?
David Rodriguez: I have a lot of control, he throws ideas at me. 

AB: How did you get your start?
DR: I was cooking at home, my family suggested it and I had never really thought of it as a career. I went to culinary school in Pasadena. 

AB: Who's your mentor?
DR: I started with Adrien Vasquez here at Providence and then went to open XIV with Jordan [Kahn] and I worked for him for three years. Two were at XIV and the other was at Red Medicine. After Jordan left, I took over and worked with Lincoln Carson—the corporate chef for the Mina Group. From Adrien Vasquez—as my first pastry job—I learned a lot of the fundamentals: how to make ice creams and cakes, etc. With Jordan, I was always very creative and working with him helped me explore my creativity and put it on a plate. Lincoln was a balance between being hyper-creative and being very straight forward. The three of them have molded me into the pastry chef I am today.

AB: What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do in your career?
DR: Leaving Jordan to come here. There’s security working under a very talented pastry chef, but I had to go out on my own.

AB: What are you most proud of?
DR: I’m proud of my team, of how much we've grown together. 

AB: What's your five-year plan?
DR: I want to have my own place, my own take on a patisserie: traditional tarts and pastries, but composed. Almost as if each tart was it's own plated dessert.