Rising Star Pastry Chef Maya Erickson of Lazy Bear - Biography

San Francisco , CA

May 2016

At just 13, Maya Erickson entered the world of pastry through the Nueva School apprentice program and began work at Destino Restaurant. The chef there promised to give her a foundation in Japanese technique, and he also happened to take classes at Erickson’s mother’s dance studio. Originally, Erickson wanted to apprentice as a hairstylist, but her mother—a passionate cook with a side business of baking cakes—intervened. Instead, Erickson spent the school year making tuiles and other classic confections. After a year at Destino, Erickson attended Lowell High School, where she and a friend established a home catering service. While catering, Erickson was introduced to her mentor-to-be, Elizabeth Falkner, who invited Erickson to stage at Citizen Cake. Soon thereafter, two of Falkner’s staff left suddenly, and Erickson was hired.

By the time she graduated high school, Erickson was contributing to the menu at Falkner’s new restaurant, Orson. After helping Falkner present on the Main Stage at StarChefs International Chefs Congress in 2012, Erickson worked as opening pastry chef for Rising Stars alum Mark Liberman at AQ. Intending to travel, she left AQ and instead found herself baking for a cafe attached to her mother’s studio. By chance, while out picking up bread, she passed Chef David Barzelay—who, after making a sharp u-turn, caught up to her and recruited her for his new restaurant, Lazy Bear. At Lazy Bear, Erickson has brought accolades both to herself and the restaurant. She was named 2015 San Francisco Chronicle “Rising Star” and helped the restaurant earn its first Michelin star in 2016.