Inspired by the seasons and devoted to simple, natural ingredients, Executive Pastry Chef Elizabeth Katz is taking desserts to a whole new level at The Bernards Inn. Her approach to combining the freshest seasonal ingredients with “something unexpected” results in pure flavors with delicious elements that delight and surprise the palate. Elizabeth Katz grew up in Westchester County, N.Y. where she helped her mother in the family’s gourmet food shop and catering company. “Holiday season was our busiest,” she recalls, but even when we worked late, we found time to light the Chanukah candles.”
Katz remembers how she and her brother couldn’t wait to get home and tear open the box of pastries that their Grandpa Harry brought from the city, as well as baking yeast-raised babkas and mandel bread with her Grandmother Clara. Food memories such as these were what inspired Katz to tackle the pastry program at the Culinary Institute of America after high school and become a professional pastry chef.
At just 24, Katz’s culinary talent and strong work ethic helped her secure a position as sous pastry chef at Daniel in New York, a restaurant the New York Times granted a coveted four stars. From there, Katz moved on to become executive pastry chef at Fiamma Restaurant in SoHo before taking responsibility for 14 pastry departments as Corporate Executive Pastry Chef for the BR Guest Restaurant group in 2003.
Katz has been named one of the nation’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs in 2006 and 2007 by Pastry Arts & Design and Chocolatier. Her work and recipes have appeared in ArtCulinaire, Food & Wine Magazine and the New York Post. She has also made appearances on the Today Show, ABC 7 News, CBS Morning Show and Martha Stewart Radio.
Katz loves the art of the plated dessert but is equally motivated by creating specialty cakes, petit fours, mignardise and other dessert items for special occasions and weddings. “I love the creativity of being a pastry chef and the challenge of balancing flavors and textures that complement one another,” she says. “I strive to create desserts that don’t weigh you down but give you the perfect sweet finish to your meal.”
Through our exclusive relationship with Red Barns Farm of Far Hills, Chef Heyer and his culinary team personally select from a bountiful harvest of vegetables and herbs which are picked fresh daily and brought to the Inn for your dining pleasure throughout the spring, summer and fall.