Page 1
News

Canada’s Best Pastry Chefs

Our most inventive pastry chefs speak about balance, technique and a passion for sweet things. 

OLIVER BERNARDINO

L’Abbattoir, Vancouver, B.C.

Time at the restaurant Started in 2016, became head pastry chef in 2020.
Style Contemporary interpretations of classic French desserts, using West Coast ingredients. 
Number of dessertson menu Three à la carte, multiple pastry courses on tasting menu.
Training Staged and eventually worked at Vancouver’s Beaucoup Bakery. Favourite classic dessert/pastry Mille-feuille.
What makes a perfect dessert? Contrast.
Favourite technique Puff pastry.
On the menu this summer Berries
Fun fact Once made a gingerbread house replica of The French Laundry. Thomas Keller saw photos of it and I invited him for dinner at the restaurant. 

I’ve loved desserts since I was a kid. It’s the part of the meal I look forward to the most

CELESTE MAH

Portage, St. John, Newfoundland

Time at the restaurant  As a co-owner, since it opened in 2022.
Style Not too sweet, leaning towards savoury.  Simple presentation, complex flavours. 
Number of desserts on menu Three. 
Training Studied baking and pastry arts at Vancouver Community College.
Favourite classic dessert/pastry Kouign-amann. 
What makes a perfect dessert? Balance of sweet and savoury with contrasting textures and temperatures. 
Favourite technique Working with touch and visual cues. 
Fun fact I have been known to make full dessert based on a single vegetable. 

There’s nothing better than having the perfect bite to end your meal. I love being the last bite.

MASAMI WAKI

Club Chasse et Pêche, Montreal, Quebec

Time at the restaurant  Since opening in 2007. 
Style Minimalist.
Number of desserts on menu Four. Training Worked underpastry chef Bertrand Bazin (Café Bazin) for five years.
Favourite classic dessert/pastry Tiramisù. I like the balance of sweetness, bitterness and alcohol.
What makes a perfect dessert? Balance of flavours. 
Favourite technique Dry caramel and praline. I love watching how sugar changes itself.
On the menu this summer Rhubarb and strawberry are a must. 

I think what we do is in between restaurant desserts and boutique desserts. That’s a fun place to be — we have a big range of what we can do.

LISA YU

Monarque, Montreal, Quebec

Time at the restaurant  Since it opened in 2018.
Style Simple ingredients are given the opportunity to shine. 
Number of desserts on menu About 12, spread over Monarque’s brasserie and salle à manger.
Inspiration Cooking shows watched as a child.
Favourite classic dessert/pastry A properly baked crème caramel. 
What makes a perfect dessert? Nice balance of sweet, sour, salty and bitter.
Favourite technique Making pie dough but treating it like puff pastry. 

Often, you don’t find out until the end that you made a mistake. I love to troubleshoot and ask 50 questions to theorize what went wrong.

SHUNING TANG

Osteria Giulia, Toronto, ON

Time at the restaurant Since it opened in 2021, as both chef de cuisine and de facto pastry chef. 
Style Classic Italian desserts made modern. 
Number of desserts on menu Three composed desserts, one sorbetto, plus a cheese course. 
Training Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa, picking up pastry skills along the way. 
Favourite classic dessert/ pastry Tarte aux pommes. 
What makes a perfect dessert? The right sugar level and components that play on classic desserts. 
Favourite technique Using savoury tools to create desserts. 
On the menu this summer The signature tiramisù. 

A nice dessert to complement a savoury experience is very important. Dessert plays an important role in the meal.

— Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

Photography by Eric Milic Photography, Celeste Mah, Noah Bender , Bénédicte Brocard, Jessica Bibeau-Côté, Alison Slattery, Thomas Genga


Share: Facebook, X (Formerly Twitter)

News and more

Sign up to our newsletter

Test
Advertisement