How did you start your career as a pastry chef?
I always tell people I started at the same time I learned to walk. Ha! But really I always had a love of sweets, baking, cookbooks, and being in the kitchen. I remember being obsessed with baking; coming home from school and leafing through cookbooks, making yummy messes, etc. But in reality I got my start about 15 years ago. I was a line cook at the Good Fork, but really wanted to get into a pastry kitchen. Chef Sohui Kim at the Good Fork, my mentor to this day (and Chef/ partner of Gage & Tollner) really pushed me to go find that place and start to work my way up. I still feel the excitement and energy I was immersed in back then. It felt like magic. It still is.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
We are a bunch of supportive, passionate, driven, nutty in the best way, individuals who always come together to support each other. I’ve met some of my closest friends through this community. I love that there’s always someone I can reach out to for advice, networking, support, etc. Someone is always there for you.
What's inspiring you right now?
I’m always inspired by the market and produce as it comes in and out of season. I’m also extremely inspired by the decor at G&T. If you haven’t seen it, Google a picture or come by. It’s steeped in history and has so many textures and patterns that tell a story- I feel like I’m always trying to match my desserts to that magic dining room and the feelings it evokes!
@pastryschiff on Instagram