Chef Pichet Ong of Coppelia - Biography

New York , NY

March 2012

Pichet Ong is a New Yorker who grew up in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He graduated from Brandeis University and went on to complete the master’s program in architectural design at the University of California at Berkeley. Upon graduation, he began working at local bakeries and restaurants in the Bay Area, including Chez Panisse. He served as pastry chef at La Folie, where he also ventured into savory cooking. His desire to develop a well-rounded palate led him to work in the kitchens of Olives in Boston and Jean Georges, Tabla, and Sono in New York City.

Pichet has served as pastry chef at Patroon and RM, where he received unanimous critical acclaim, receiving 3-star reviews in every newspaper in New York City, Pichet is presently executive pastry chef for Jean-Georges Vongerichten. He opened 66 and Spice Market, where his desserts garnered him his third 3-star review in the New York Times. Pichet’s creations at RM and 66 have also been featured in the “Hot Tables 2002” issue of Travel & Leisure. In April 2005, Pichet will be opening Perry Street in West Village.

As a self-taught pastry chef utilizing his childhood and professional culinary experiences, as well as his background in architecture and design, Pichet is known for creating delicious, innovative desserts that are visually appealing and whimsical. Eschewing the use of sugar and advocating flavor reductions and savory seasonings, he is known for incorporating unique yet familiar ingredients in desserts that appeal to a universal palate. At present, Pichet focuses his professional endeavors on using classic Asian ingredients and cooking techniques and introducing the exotic flavors of Southeast Asia to the current dining scene. Some of these desserts include Coconut Tapioca and Lime Parfait, Chinese Sweet Dim Sum, Ovaltine Kulfi, and the original and much praised Thai Jewels on Crushed Coconut Ice.

Pichet’s work has been featured in many publications and he is the founder of “Pastry Chefs Night Out,” a weekly dinner gathering for the pastry chef community. Pichet’s a contributing writer for Food Arts and was featured in the prestigious “The Chef” column in The New York Times. He’s been named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Arts & Design and by Food & Wine. In addition to opening Perry Street (Jean-Georges’ newest dining venture), and consulting for Village Tart and former bakery Batch, Pichet's 2008 cookbook, The Sweet Spot, won plaudits from the New York Times as "one of the most original dessert cookbooks in years." He is now pastry chef at Cuban restaurant Coppelia, which opened in April 2011, among spearheading other projects for the sweet-toothed.