Food & Wine Magazine Names Finalists in Best Pastry Chef Poll
Four Austin pastry chefs represent Central Region
By Virginia B. Wood, 3:30PM, Tue. Apr. 2
Naming the best new chefs around the country has been standard practice at Food & Wine magazine for 25 years, but much-needed recognition of pastry chefs is just getting started. That's why it's great to see four Austin pastry chefs getting some well-deserved acclaim in the magazine's new online poll to choose the People's Best New Pastry Chef.
The fact that innovative, taste-tempting, and thought-provoking pastries and desserts are being served in Austin restaurants comes as no surprise to knowledgeable local foodies, but it's gratifying when the national media takes notice. Food & Wine's poll to choose the People's Best New Pastry Chef of the year popped up online yesterday with profiles and photos of nominees from three regions across the country. Four of the Central Region nominees are currently working in Austin. Our heartiest congratulations to the following talents:
Jodi Elliott, pastry chef and co/owner of Foreign & Domestic
Kyle McKinney , pastry chef at Barley Swine
Callie Speer, pastry chef at Swift's Attic
Erika Waksmunski, pastry chef at Congress
Two of the other Central Region nominees are from Houston, Victoria Dearmond of Underbelly and Karen Man of Oxheart, while another nominee, Sarah Jordan, worked stints in Austin kitchens at Jeffrey's , Olivia, and Fino before moving to Chicago last year. I'd say 7 out of 17 nominees from our region makes Texas a hotbed of top pastry activity.
Looking at this list makes me wish I could arrange a progressive dessert tasting one day this week just so I could say I'd done my due diligence. (Something akin to the Killed by Dessert event at Foreign & Domestic in November.) But just because I'm too busy this week doesn't mean it's not a great idea, so here's what I suggest. Check out the nominees' online profiles, photos, and dessert menus, have a bite of protein somewhere, and then make a sweet tooth trek around town to evaluate the entries.
The online voting period is open through April 8th and Food & Wine will announce the winner April 9th. Our best of luck to the home team!