Meet the Tastemakers
The top 8 pastry chefs in Austin bake up a colorful community
No one changes hats like a pastry chef, serving up the savory, the sweet, and everything in between. A great meal may start with bread, encase something herbaceous in a puff pastry, and end with a beautiful meringue. These fatty, carb-heavy foods are the core of both comfort and celebration, but it’s easy to miss the mark — it’s a high-stakes, high-reward field, and most pastry heroes don’t see their names on the front of a restaurant.
This year’s Tastemaker Award nominees in the Best Pastry category show that no matter how highbrow or homemade, the passion transcends the plate — or the pastry box.
Consider your wildest dreams and your mellowest comfort cravings, and then get ready to see them challenged on May 11 at Fair Market for our annual Tastemaker Awards tasting event and awards ceremony. Early Bird tickets are on sale now.
Abby Love, Abby Jane Bakeshop
Local ingredients are always hot as far as meats and veggies are concerned, but is anyone asking where their flour is coming from? Abby Love is. Products from Abby Jane Bakeshop are made exclusively from stone-milled heritage flours processed feet away at the Barton Springs Mill facility. Surprisingly at this bakeshop, the pizzas steal the show.
Amanda Rockman, New Waterloo
This charismatic pastry chef had some experience in Michelin star dining, but decided it just wasn’t for her and dove instead into the more personable "polished casual" world. Now she has fun with sprinkles and oversees the sweet and flaky goings on at New Waterloo properties including fellow Tastemaker nominees Maie Day, Watertrade, and La Condesa.
Aurora Soleil, Emmer & Rye Hospitality Group
Despite flying under the radar in name alone, Aurora Soleil has made a big impact on the Austin pastry scene. Endorsed via her hiring at Hestia by one of Austin’s pastry giants, Tavel Bristol-Joseph, Soleil upheld the hospitality group's refined, but adventurous image with unexpected ingredients, unusual flavor combinations, and an insuppressible joie de vivre in plating.
Luis Gramajo and Hans Schrei, Wunderkeks
Anyone can make a good chocolate chip cookie, but married couple Luis Gramajo and Hans Schrei are baking up a stronger, more supportive community. The cookies are a cult classic — thick and toasty after a mandatory oven warm-up — and the award-winning business supports safe spaces for LGBTQ people, immigrants, and anyone who embraces their true self.
Courtney Mullin, Juniper
There are a few staples that have sweetened the Juniper menu since it opened in 2015, but Courtney Mullin gets the credit for keeping the pastry program innovative and delicious. Mullins started out as a pastry cook in South Carolina before moving to Atlanta, Chicago, and now Austin, where she also concocts the classic crullers and more for Uncle Nicky’s.
Jules Stoddart, Little Ola's Biscuits
After pivoting to a temporary biscuit shop during the pandemic, Olamaie chef and owner Michael Fojtasek announced plans to open a permanent biscuit shop in North Austin. Formerly Olamaie’s executive pastry chef and culinary director Jules Stoddart now leads Little Ola’s, serving the fresh, delicious and from-scratch biscuits to tempt Austinites daily.
Mariela Camacho, Comadre Panadería
A first-generation American and daughter of Mexican immigrants, Mariela Camacho creates high-quality bread and pastries inspired by her experience growing up Xicana in America. Comadre Panadería started as a pop-up in Seattle in 2017 before moving back to Camacho’s home state of Texas, where she recently expanded into a space next to Nixta Taqueria.
Sarah McIntosh, Épicerie
Even Café Du Monde canonists can confess that Sarah McIntosh’s beignets are not just bigger, but better. Sure, there’s no street jazz band serenading every powdery bite, but McIntosh’s creations are fluffier, fresher, and more satisfying — and that’s not even touching on her kougin-amanns, flaky croissants, almond croix, and the best sprinkle cookies in town.