Rising Star Pastry Chef Crystal Chiu of Canlis - Biography

Seattle, WA

January 2020

From a young age, Houston-born Crystal Chiu loved creating desserts, but her first calling led her to study communications at the University of Texas, Austin. After graduating in 2006, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked in the U.S. House of Representatives as Press Advisor for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. When the House majority shifted after the 2011 election, Chiu shifted the direction as well.

She relocated to Chicago to attend The French Pastry School and externed with Pastry Chef Dana Cree at Blackbird before moving to New York City in 2013. While there, she worked as a pastry cook under Ghaya Oliveira at Daniel for a year and a half and staged at Luksus in Brooklyn. In 2015, in order to expand her culinary horizons, she travelled across the Asia Pacific to stage at several notable restaurants: Room4Dessert Ubud in Bali, Indonesia; Aberdeen Street Social in Hong Kong; 2am:dessertbar and Tippling Club in Singapore; Callebaut Chocolate Academy and Narisawa in Tokyo; Le Mout in Taiwan; and Brae in Melbourne. Chiu returned to Bali in 2016 to become legendary Pastry Chef Will Goldfarb’s chef de cuisine at Room4Dessert Ubud. Following that, she founded Asli Food Project, a passion project focused on the traditional produce and cuisine of Indonesia. In 2018, Chiu returned to the United States to become the pastry chef at Nashville’s The Catbird Seat under the helm of Chef Ryan Poli. In the spring of 2019, she headed to Seattle to run the pastry program at historic Canlis.