Rising Star Pastry Chef Shannon Swindle of Craft Los Angeles - Biography

Los Angeles, CA

November 2011

2007 Rising Star Pastry Chef Shannon Swindle credits his family of adventurous foodies and Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters with inspiring his passion for the kitchen. His career as a pastry chef is a very unlikely one, given Swindle’s type 1 diabetes, but out of necessity he discovered a talent: creating desserts that are focused on the natural sweetness of high-quality seasonal ingredients.

Intrigued by the restaurant industry but with no formal training, Swindle began his career by volunteering in a professional kitchen. His love for pastry emerged at the first restaurant he worked in, under the guidance of Austin mentor chefs, Lisa and Emmett Fox.

After moving back to Dallas in 1995, he became the assistant pastry chef at Stephan Pyles’ Star Canyon, and then pastry chef at The Mansion at Turtle Creek with Dean Fearing. Surrounded by talented chefs, Swindle developed a deep appreciation for balanced desserts that weren’t overwhelmed with refined sugar, and became interested in refining his technique.

From there Swindle moved on to open Kent Rathbun’s Abacus, and after to Craft, where Swindle's pastry came into its own with incredible technical execution and precision. In 2009, Swindle headed west, taking his talents to the pastry department at the Los Angeles branch of Craft.