How did you start your career as a pastry chef?
I've always been really big on dessert. In high school, I signed up for a vocational baking + pastry program during my junior year. I pretty quickly got super into it--I baked at home every night, and got a job at a local bakery after school. Inevitably I went to culinary school after I graduated, and after getting my bachelor’s degree, I moved to New York to take advantage of the food scene. I'd done a couple of fine dining internships in college and I wanted to try something different, so I worked in bread bakeries until I realized my passion really lies in composed desserts. I found my way back to fine dining, working my way up in the kitchen, which led me to where I am now.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
I love how intertwined everyone is, especially in the food industry. If you want to connect with a chef you don't know, someone in your circle will have a connection, and it makes this huge city feel like a community. Especially the sharing of knowledge; I've learned so much from people who take pride in sharing their experience, whether it's a chef, a bartender, a farmer, a baker, or any other person who's an integral part of the food and beverage world.
What's inspiring you right now?
Vibrant colors, the insane amount of perfectly ripe fruit at the Union Square greenmarket, coastal Italian cuisine, my friends, my work family, our dining rooms at Mel's and Al Coro, and the beauty of the East Village, which I'm lucky to call my home.