Of all the categories in our 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Awards, our annual celebration of the best in Dallas food and drink, the one for Pastry Chef of the Year is the sweetest of all.
Pastry requires both artistry and precision — a rare combination that all of these 10 nominees possess.
Over the next few weeks, we'll continue to spotlight nominees in every category: from best chefs to the best restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth. A tip of the hat goes to our panel of judges, consisting of former CultureMap Tastemaker Award winners and local F&B experts, whose votes determined the final winners.
Those will be announced at the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards party on April 25 at Fashion Industry Gallery. We’ll reveal the winners, sip cocktails, and dine on bites provided by the nominees. Tickets are on sale now.
Here are the 10 nominees for Pastry Chef of the Year in Dallas:
Aldo Sandoval — Baldo's Ice Cream
Sandoval first got his start in the Dallas culinary scene as a sous chef at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. An artist of many mediums, he channels his creativity by introducing savory flavors to classic ice creams. Sandoval's flavors are unexpected and engaging, from salted butterbourbon to prickly pear jalapeno.
Andrea Meyer — Bisous Bisous
Meyer left behind a corporate career to study pastry at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, then worked at Bouchon Bakery & Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, California, before opening Bisous Bisous. Her trademarks include her acclaimed French macarons, pastries, and her signature croissant muffin called the cruffin, executed in a variety of flavors.
Brittny Miguel — Dee Lincoln Prime
Miguel received her associate degree in pastry arts from Collin County Community College before getting what she calls a life-changing internship at The Joule Dallas, where she worked with a cadre of top chefs, before being hired full-time. She worked for Sweet Daze as a baker and consultant, and also opened a side business @BonBonBM, before joining the team at Dee Lincoln Prime in 2018.
Cristal Gonzalez — Pyramid
Gonzalez is a Dallas native who attended Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School, then worked for the DisneyWorld operation in Florida for five years, opening restaurants and doing weddings and other events. She returned to Dallas to work in the pastry shop at the Adolphus, before switching to the Fairmont Hotel in 2018, where she oversees fine pastries for the Pyramid as well as the hotel.
James Jordan — Dallas Athletic Club
Jordan is a well-rounded F&B professional with 30 years of experience in all phases of the restaurant/hotel industry, at institutions such as Adelmo's, Cedar Grove, Hector's on Henderson, and Craft and the W Hotel. He's fluent in breads, desserts, breakfast pastries, ice cream, and more, and constantly strives to excel by combining flavors, and textures, adapting recipes for gluten- and lactose-free options.
Jennifer Bezdek — Tulla Patisserie
Bezdek left her job at a Fortune 500 company to submerge herself in the world of yeast and dough, with two years of training that included study at the San Francisco Baking Institute, to focus specifically on bread. She opened her own bakery in Frisco called Tulla Patisserie & Cafe, where she's doing desserts, croissants, and sourdough breads.
Laura Blomdstedt — Candor/Oak Cliff
Candor is the bakery operation affiliated with Oak Cliff Coffee, where they're baking old-world sourdough breads, cinnamon rolls, scones, cookies, and other treats. Blomstedt, whose background includes a brief staging at Tartine, tends to the starter and turns out toasty, flour-dusted loaves available in a subscription service of for sale at the shop.
Amaris Riddle — Sugar Fang
Riddle's mother was a cake decorator, which sparked her interest in baking, as well. She learned the ropes of vegan desserts while working at Reverie Bakeshop in Richardson, then joined the crew at Sugar Fang, the vegan bakery at BrainDead Brewing. She oversees production on the bakery's trademark skull-shaped cakes, as well as inventing new creations such as cake balls, pop tarts, and vegan cannoli.
Maria Zwicklbauer — SusieCakes
Zwicklbauer has been with SusieCakes for more than 10 years, overseeing locations on the West Coast such as Newport Beach and Marin County in California. She's skilled in food & beverage, cake decorating, and baking, as well as restaurant management. She has a bachelor's in hospitality management from The Culinary Institute of America, and prior to her time with SusieCakes worked at restaurants in Boston and Colorado Springs.
Tayler Mosher — Statler
A native of New York, Mosher is a longtime pastry chef who has worked at restaurants such as Sixty Vines and Niwa Japanese. At the Stater, she supports three restaurants plus one of their bars: Fine China, Scout, OverEasy, and Bourbon & Banter. She makes the mantou steam buns for Fine China, and supplies a continuous rotation of pies at OverEasy as well as their famous biscuits.