Rising Star Artisan Sara May of Franklin Fountain - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

February 2013

Sara May is a relative newcomer to food. For the first 10 years of her career, she traveled the country, working as a production stage manager for several different regional theatres—ultimately developing a skill set that would help her one day tackle the precise world of pastry. Organized with a flair for micro-managing details, May just needed the training to jumpstart her culinary ambitions.
She began commuting from Philly to New York City twice a week in 2010 to attend the Natural Gourmet Institute, one of the few culinary schools in the United States devoted to vegetarian and health-supportive cuisine. And if health equals happiness, she began serving it in spades with her first job as soda jerk at Philadelphia’s Franklin Fountain.
Working under fellow Rising Star Artisan Davina Soondrum, May flourished, moving up from the soda fountain to pie visionary and pastry chef when Soondrum took over next-door Shane Confectionery. May continues to push forward Franklin’s vision of turn-of-the-century sweets made with the local, old-fashioned ingredients May is most passionate about: butter, cream, ripe summer peaches, and Pennsylvania chocolate to name a few. In 2013, May earned the title of StarChefs.com Rising Star Artisan for her work. She also develops recipes for her blog, The Cozy Herbivore, and has adapted Franklin Fountain recipes for publications, such as Bon Appetit, Redbook, and Imbibe, as well as the cookbook Philadelphia Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the City of Brotherly Love.