Best of Boston

BEST Pastry Chef

2017 BEST Pastry Chef

Renae Connolly, Benedetto

Cambridge

Renae Connolly’s desserts are such exquisite works of refinement and balance, we’ve come to think of her as a real-life Sugar Plum Fairy. Whether you indulge in a wedge of classic torta al limon jazzed up with a bright-pink prickly-pear… read more»

2016 BEST Pastry Chef

Meghan Thompson, Townsman

Boston

Meghan Thompson’s seasonal desserts aren’t merely a source of Instagram envy—there’s nostalgia and accessibility beneath the aesthetic. Take her frozen yuzu soufflé with poached quince, wild-bay-leaf ice cream, and toasted meringue shards, scattered like a broken robin’s egg. It looks… read more»

2015 BEST Pastry Chef

Rachel Sundet, State Park

Cambridge

One of our favorite pastimes has been a movie at the Kendall chased by a chilled espresso martini and one of Rachel Sundet’s home-style desserts at Hungry Mother’s bar. Sadly, the restaurant will be closing July 3, but until the… read more»

2014 BEST Pastry Chef

Brian Mercury, Harvest

Cambridge

We tend to approach modernist desserts with caution—though striking, can an elaborate plate of gel, fruit leather, and crumble actually taste good? In the hands of Harvest’s Brian Mercury, the answer is yes. That’s because his confections are built around… read more»

2013 BEST Pastry Chef

Monica Glass, Clio

Boston

A touch of sumac to balance a rich chocolate cremeux; a hint of briny olive to bring out the zing in Meyer-lemon beignets—Glass is known for incorporating savory elements into her creative confections. The result? Richly satisfying desserts that give… read more»

2012 BEST Pastry Chef
Craigie on Main

Craigie On Main

Cambridge

Pity us. We’re so inclined to stuff our bellies full of chef Tony Maws’s house-made pastas and glorious takes on pork that we have a hard time saving room for dessert. This is tragic, because it’s simply not a Craigie… read more»

2011 BEST Pastry Chef

Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana and Sofra

Cambridge

Plenty of pastry chefs around town put together fussy, high-styled confections that scream “innovation.” But if you’re looking for someone versatil—someone who can do comfort sweets as well as fine dining—there’s no topping Kilpatrick. With both Oleana and Sofra bakery… read more»

2010 BEST Pastry Chef

Sarah Ewald

East Boston

In contrast to all the molecular tomfoolery of the moment (honey ‘dust,’ chocolate ‘caviar’), Ewald’s plates at Bistro du Midi are familiar yet refined. Ice cream melts into warm cherry clafouti; Armagnac infuses a plum-filled tart. Compared with this, the… read more»

2009 BEST Pastry Chef

Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra

Cambridge

Three years in a row? Really? Yet after scarfing down the fig and almond serpentines and ridiculously good chocolate cookies at Sofra, the bakery/mezze bar that Kilpatrick opened last year with chef Ana Sortun, we once again have to tip… read more»

2008 BEST Pastry Chef

Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana

Cambridge

The best desserts mix strong technique with a blithe spirit of invention. Kilpatrick reigns on both fronts, yielding delicacies like nougat glacé with poached nectarine, pistachio milk granité, and candied angelica at Oleana and Egyptian bread-and-butter pudding at Sofra, her… read more»