Pastry Chef Aya Fukai of Waldorf Astoria Chicago - Biography

Chicago, IL

August 2012

A native of Chiba, Japan, Aya Fukai moved to Boston with her family when she was 9. Although her early childhood was spent in Japan, she began her culinary training at Boston University, where she received her bachelors of science in hospitality administration.

After graduation, Fukai worked in a number of distinguished restaurants in Boston, serving in various assistant pastry positions at L’Espalier and Radius. She then took her first executive pastry chef position at Menton. Fukai then headed to the Midwest, where she oversees the pastry and bread program for two-Michelin starred Ria and modern bistro Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago. Combining her background and passion for both art and science, Fukai offers a sweet menu of familiar flavors served in unexpected ways. Visually and conceptually, she offers a contemporary spin on classically inspired desserts.