Revenge of the Pastry Chef

Interesting article in today’s New York Times dining section about pastry chefs. In essence, it discusses how many of Manhattan’s star pastry makers, fed up with their side-kick status in traditional restaurants, are becoming entrepreneurs. Not content with the typical bake shop, some of these folks have launched their own dessert-only restaurants, or more interesting still, restaurants whose entire menu (both savory and sweet) is approached from a pastry-centric point of view.

The whole thing highlights what often goes either unsaid or unacknowledged in the pastry world: that even the most high-profile pastry positions are, in the end, staff jobs. That the most talented and accomplished practitioners of the baking trade can never rise, either in status or in compensation, to the level of a head chef. Now, that’s either a drawback or a feature depending on your point of view, but in the age of the cook-turned-celebrity it’s hardly surprising that some of the more ambitious pastry makers are wanting their share of the limelight.

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