Pastry Chef Andres Lara of Pollen - Biography


May 2013

Born in Chicago of Colombian parents, Pastry Chef Andres Lara enjoyed a multicultural upbringing which embraced his Latin heritage and set the stage for his multinational pastry career. It was during his sophomore year of high school, when he spent his weekends working in kitchens for free, that Lara first realized the potential for creativity inherent in pastry, and determined to pursue it professionally. He enrolled in the French Pastry School for education under his first mentors, Jacquy Pfeiffer and MOF Sébastien Canonne, completing his Art de la Patisserie diploma in 2000. Lara then embarked upon a culinary journey around the world. In Spain he honed his chocolate skills under Chef Paco Torreblanca at Pasteleria Totel, and worked with Chef Ramon Morato at the Chocovic Chocolate School outside of Barcelona. He also did time at the culinary temple el Bulli, working with renowned pastry innovator Albert Adrià. When Scandinavia called, Lara tackled pastry chef positions at both Denmark’s Noma and Norway’s Bagatelle. In Asia, he worked for Chef Eric Perez at Visage Patisserie in Shanghai, as well as presenting demos in Japan, Bangkok, Taiwan, and Beijing. Back in the States, Lara held positions in the Ritz Carltons in Half Moon Bay and in Palm Beach, as well as Chicago’s Park Hyatt Hotel and NoMI. His most recent undertakings—a year at Singapore’s Iggy’s, from which he moved on to his current position at Jason Atherton’s Asian outpost Pollen—have drawn on all of Lara’s diverse experiences to craft multinationally-informed and visually stunning dishes in the uniquely global culinary market of Singapore.