With six cookbooks to her credit and numerous awards, Emily Luchetti has helped to define what great pastry means in America. As chief pastry officer for Big Night Restaurant Group, she drives the pastry vision for Leo’s Oyster Bar, The Cavalier, Marlowe, and Park Tavern and creates beautiful interpretations of some of the world’s most beloved classic desserts.
Prior to joining Big Night Restaurant Group, Luchetti was executive pastry chef at San Francisco’s Farallon since its inception in 1997, and at Waterbar since it opened in 2008. Luchetti began her culinary career on the savory side of the kitchen at San Francisco’s legendary Stars restaurant before switching to the sweet side three years later. She was the pastry chef at Stars for seven years and also co-owned the retail bakery StarBake.
The petite powerhouse is also the author of Stars Desserts (HarperCollins, 1991), Four Star Desserts (HarperCollins, 1995), A Passion for Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2003), A Passion for Ice Cream (Chronicle Books, 2006), and The Fearless Baker (Little, Brown and Company, 2011). Her first two books were rereleased as Classic Stars Desserts (Chronicle Books, 2007).
Luchetti’s honors include the 1998 San Francisco Focus Magazine Pastry Chef of the Year, the 2001 Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Golden Whisk Award, the 2003 Food Arts magazine Silver Spoon Award, and the 2004 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef. From 1994 to 1999, she served as chairperson of Women Chefs & Restaurateurs, and currently serves as a dean of the International Culinary Center in California and New York. In 2009, the San Francisco Chronicle chose Luchetti as one of 20 Visionary Chefs in the Bay Area, and she was inducted into the Culinary Pioneers of America. In 2012, she was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Prior to being named chair of the James Beard Foundation Board of Trustees, Luchetti served on the Foundation board for six years, three as vice chair, and as chair of the James Beard Awards Committee.