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Famous Pastry Chef Biography

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Nancy Silverton

Nancy Silverton is a distinguished pastry chef and author of several cookbooks. Nancy Silverton was born in 1955 in California, United States of America. Nancy Silverton studied liberal arts at Cal State University, Sonoma. After dropping out of the college, Nancy worked at a restaurant in North California as an apprentice for two years before proceeding to Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London and Ecole Le Notre in France for further training in culinary (MacLauchlan & Vlaun, 2009). She is currently the chief pastry chef at Campanile Restaurant, Los Angeles. Nancy Silverton also heads La Brea Bakery, a company she co-founded with her ex-husband Mark Peel 1989. Silverton also owns Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza restaurants in Highland and Melrose respectively. According to Silverton, Molina and Carreno (2011), Pizzeria Mozza earned great honor for its artisan-styled pizzas that were designed by Nancy Silverton. In mid 2011, Nancy Silverton and Amy Pressman opened a hamburger restaurant called Short Order at Original Farmers Market in Fairfax, Los Angeles. Nancy Silverton got married to Mark Peel in 1983. They had three children namely Vanessa, Benjamin and Oliver. However, she got divorced in mid 1990s.

Achievements of Nancy Silverton

Nancy Silverton’s fame is derived from her numerous achievements in the culinary industry. She received numerous awards for her contributions to culinary. For instance, in 1999, Bon Appétit awarded Nancy Silverton as the best food artisan in the Best of Food and Entertaining. Her unique pastry arts also received recognition in 2004 by the International Star Diamond Award for Outstanding Hospitality. She also received the Best Pastry Chef of the Year award from James Beard Foundation in 1990. Her unique pastry arts also received recognition in 2004 by the International Star Diamond Award for Outstanding Hospitality. Other awards that Nancy Silverton received include James Beard’s RCA Pioneer Award (2003), 50 New Taste Makers by Nation’s Restaurant News (1999), Southern California Restaurant Writers (1995), Best Pastry Chef of the Year (1990 and 1995) and Best Cook of the Year (1997). In mid 1990, Food and Wine Magazine named Nancy Silverton the Best Chef of the Year.

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Moreover, Nancy became the first woman to win James Beard Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 1991 after defeating renowned chef Elizabeth Falkner. Nancy Silverton also won James Beard’s “Who is Who in American Cooking” award in 1992 and Los Angeles Culinary Master of the Year in 1994 (MacLauchlan & Vlaun, 2009). In 1997, one of her books was nominated for two major awards; namely Julia Childs Cookbook of the Year and Best Cookbook of the Year from James Beard Foundation. Nancy is also celebrated as the first woman to introduce authentic artisan bread in Los Angeles. In 2003, she joined the Culinary Council of Marshall Fields. Away from the Kitchen, the WCR Golden Bowl Award also recognized Nancy Silverton as the most influential person in Southern California in 2005.

When and Where I met Nancy Silverton

I personally met Nancy Silverton for the first time when she visited ours school for fund raising to support the school’s project on nutritional education. Her humbleness, unassuming nature, inspirational talks and willingness to share her experiences are some of the attributes that inspired me to be a successful woman as she is in the future. In a twenty-minute chat with her, I learned a lot about being a single mother and pastry chef.

Why Nancy Silverton Inspires Me

Despite the numerous challenges that Nancy Silverton had in her life as a divorced woman and a mother, she successfully managed to achieve her career goals in cooking. Nancy is one of the top pastry chefs in the United States today. She also managed to bring up her three children with little assistance from their father. She proved to be a determined entrepreneur and businessperson. Moreover, she also wrote numerous cookbooks about culinary. Some of her books include Breads from the La Brea Bakery (Villard Books), Nancy Silverton Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (Villard Books)and Nancy Silverton Silverton's Sandwich Book: The Best Sandwiches ever—from Thursday Nights at Campanile (Alfred A. Knopf).

Additionally, Nancy Silverton started her career as a pastry chef when she was merely eighteen years while still a student at Cal State University. Upon discovering her passion in cooking, Nancy decided to pursue culinary education. From this, I have learned the importance of pursuing one’s interests when making career choices.

Although Nancy Silverton started with one small restaurant, today, her products are found in more than twenty countries in the United States. Her determination and fortitude has taught me that one can achieve whatever he or she wants in life. Her numerous awards and achievements also prove that excellent work does not go unnoticed.

Nancy Silverton is also highly involved in promoting nutritional education in various schools and culinary colleges in the United States; for example, she has given public lectures at the Culinary Institute of America, Garden School and the Institute of Culinary Education (Culinary Institute of America, 2010). In my opinion, this demonstrates her will to help and inspire other people in the society.

Her talent, creativity and innovativeness in culinary have also inspired a lot. Witherspoon and Meehan (2007) describe Nancy Silverton as a highly talented pastry chef who will never cease to discover new baking techniques, ingredients and blends of flavors for her delicious products. She used her creativity to developed unique menus for her pastry products.

As a renowned author, Nancy Silverton inspires me with how she turned her cooking ideas into books in order to help budding pastry chefs in future. Her latest cookbook, Twist of the Wrist, was unveiled in 2007 (Silverton & Carreno, 2007).

Where I would like to be after School and My Long-Term Goal

After finishing school and college, I would like to work for a prestigious restaurant in order to gain experience in culinary, after which I would open my own restaurant. My long-term goal is to become a successful entrepreneur and owner of chain of restaurants. I also aspire to be the best pastry chef in the world. In my view, women are better cooks, thus can become prominent chefs just as Nancy Silverton. I would also like to be a worthy woman in the society, thus inspire other women just as Nancy Silverton have inspired me.


Throughout my life and career, Nancy Silverton shall remain an inspirational figure. Her humble beginnings, determination to overcome life challenges and success in business offers adequate challenge to students like me and women, and young mothers in particular.

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