|Education||Le Cordon Bleu, London|
|Cooking style||French-inspired American pastry|
Jennifer Yee is an American chef, specializing in pastry. Born and raised in San Francisco, she has worked in several pastry kitchens in some of New York’s finest restaurants. She is currently the Patissière at Lafayette, located in the NoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.
Jennifer Yee began her culinary career by working as a pastry commis chef for Gordon Ramsay and Angela Hartnett at the Connaught Hotel, while attending London's Le Cordon Bleu, 2002-2003. After completing her Patisserie Diploma with Distinction at Cordon Bleu, Yee stayed on in London as pastry chef de partie at Alan Yau's Yauatcha. Yee returned to the United States in early 2006 and worked with Nick Morgenstern, who appointed her Pastry Sous Chef, and later David Carmichael at Gilt Restaurant.
Pastry Chef positions
In 2009 Yee left the two-Michelin-starred Gilt to assume her first head pastry chef position at Charlie Palmer's Aureole restaurant, working with Christopher Lee. While heading up the pastry department at the Michelin-starred mid-town New York restaurant, Yee was awarded the Star Chefs 'Rising Star' award for pastry, in 2010.
Following Chef Lee's departure from Aureole, Yee was offered the opportunity to work with Australian chef Shaun Hergatt at his fine dining establishment, SHO Shaun Hergatt, in Manhattan's Financial District.
While SHO Shaun Hergatt garnered much critical praise, and two stars from Michelin, the restaurant closed its doors in 2012, but not before Yee's refined pastry program had caught the eye of the dessert-minded media, noting her "artful" desserts and "best petits fours in New York City".
After the closure of SHO, Chef Yee was offered her most high-profile and challenging position to date as the Patissière for Andrew Carmellini's latest project, the French Grand Cafe and Bakery, Lafayette, which opened in April 2013.
Yee received high praise for her bakery and dessert program at Lafayette from several newspaper and magazine critics including the New York Times, Bloomberg, Time Out, the New York Post, and the Observer. The New York Times's restaurant critic, Pete Wells, rated Yee's fig tart as one of the best dishes of 2013.
Awards and Nominations
In February 2014, Yee was announced as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef award for the first time, and in November the Food and Wine Magazine declared her one of their top five Best New Pastry Chefs. In March 2016, after three years as pastry chef of Lafayette, she was announced as a Nominee for the James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef award.
- Star Chefs Rising Star Pastry Chef 2010
- James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Semi Finalist 2014
- Dessert Professional Top Ten Pastry Chefs 2014
- Food and Wine Best New Pastry Chefs 2014
- James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Semi Finalist 2015
- James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Nominee 2016
On Christmas Eve 2011, while at SHO, Yee took part in a fun Gingerbread house competition on Good Morning America. Her take on a 'Grinch Who Stole Christmas' themed house proved to be the favorite.
In October 2012, Yee appeared on Food Network's Sweet Genius. The finalists in the episode were Yee and Stephen Collucci, pastry chef of Tom Colicchio's Colicchio & Sons in New York's Meatpacking District. Yee scooped the $10,000 prize after a close contest between the two chefs.
- Become a Pastry Chef
- Martineau, Chantal (2011-10-20). "Jennifer Yee 'In' at SHO; Dave Martin 'In' at The Meatball Factory". Village Voice. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Michelin Welcomes 2 New 3-Star Restaurants for 2012 - NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/" (Press release). Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- Cuozzo, Steve (2012-08-08). "Sho-down!". New York Post. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- Dessert Buzz May 2012
- Gordinier, Jeff (March 12, 2013). "He Won't Upstage His Food". The New York Times.
- Wells, Pete (June 25, 2013). "French Class Is in Session. Restaurant Review: Lafayette in NoHo". The New York Times.
- Sutton, Ryan (Jun 18, 2013). "Lafayette Takes On Balthazar". Bloomberg Businessweek.
- Time Out July 2013
- Cuozzo, Steve (2013-06-18). "Andrew Carmellini's Lafayette is baked in charm". New York Post. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Grub Match: Best Restaurant Dessert in NYC". New York Observer. 2013-12-13. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- Daniel Krieger. "The Best Restaurant Dishes of 2013". The New York Times.
- "Pastry Chef Jennifer Yee of Aureole". StarChefs.com. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "James Beard Foundation". Jamesbeard.org. 2014-02-19. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Dessert Professional Magazine Announces Their Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America for 2014". Dessert Professional. Retrieved 2014-06-26.
- "Food and Wine Best New Pastry Chefs 2014".
- "James Beard Foundation". Jamesbeard.org. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
- "James Beard Foundation". Jamesbeard.org. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
- ABC News, GMA Dec 2011
- TV By the Numbers