Rising Star Pastry Chef Emily Spurlin of Bad Hunter - Biography

Chicago, Illinois

May 2018

Emily Spurlin began her career as a line cook and fell in love with pastry while attending École Supérieure de Cuisine Française-Ferrandi in Paris. After graduation, Spurlin worked the line at Tony Mantuano’s Terzo Piano before finding a home at The Publican. She stayed on the savory side of the kitchen for a year there before transitioning to desserts under Rising Stars alum Anna Posey, whom Spurlin cites as an important mentor. After her development at The Publican, Spurlin moved on to lead the team at Floriole, falling deeper in love with French technique and further refining her laminated pastries.

As Spurlin contemplated leaving Chicago, she received a call from Dan Snowden, another mentor of hers from The Publican. Snowden needed an executive pastry chef to open his new venture, Bad Hunter, and thought Spurlin would be the perfect fit.

At Heisler Hospitality’s Bad Hunter, Spurlin celebrates the Midwest’s seasonality and has fun with fermentation to cut down on waste in the kitchen. She commands nostalgia, color, and salt in her pastry, and knows how to do delicious in a multitude of forms—biscuits and sourdough croissants for brunch and glorious, unexpected desserts after 5pm. For her work, Spurlin has been featured in The New York Times, Bon Appetit, Zagat, and Chicago Magazine.