Rising Star Pastry Chef Lisa Vega of Dandelion Chocolate - Biography

San Francisco, CA

May 2016

A Los Angeles native who grew up cooking with her grandmothers, Lisa Vega graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a degree in English literature. But Vega was unsure of her next chapter: academia or gastronomy? Having practically grown up in the kitchen, and taken cooking classes during her senior year, she ultimately decided that culinary school and pastry were the right path forward.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, Vega joined the team at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville. Stacking her résumé and growing into a formidable pastry presence, Vega went on to leave her mark at Craft and Providence in Los Angeles, and at Bourbon Steak and Gary Danko in San Francisco. At Craft, Vega worked with Rising Stars alum Catherine Schimenti, heading up morning production and learning how to execute with fine attention to detail. At Providence, Adrian Vasquez and Michael Cimarusti ingrained in Vega a pride and care for her ingredients, and introduced her to molecular gastronomy. From Lincoln Carson at Bourbon Steak, she took away precision and a flare for flavor combinations.

In 2013, Vega joined the team at bean-to-bar pioneer Dandelion Chocolate. A pastry force to be reckoned with, Vega oversees all pastry and outlets for Dandelion, including a new commissary kitchen, hot chocolate stands, and the company’s recent expansion to Japan.