Gramercy Tavern pastry chef Nancy Olson was raised on a farm in Napoleon, North Dakota—so that explains her affinity and passion for classic homey American desserts. But it wasn't until after her 5-year stint at the Fargo Country Club, where she realized that pastry was her true calling, that she decided to raise her game by attending the Culinary Institute of America. She then cut her teeth in the NYC restaurant pastry kitchen world at Aureole, Bouley, Django, and Peacock Alley.
Though she honed her classical technique in all those places, she still found herself gravitating to the honey, honest desserts she grew up eating—only now at the Gramercy Tavern, where she has been for the last five years, she infuses them with a contemporary sensibility, a dedication to seasonality, and a kind of guileless sophistication that reflects both her North Dakota roots and the city of New York, where she now lives and works. The desserts at Gramercy never fail to totally knock me out with their intense flavors, spot-on textures, and perfectly ripe ingredients.
We're proud to give Nancy a much-deserved star tun on our Sweets blog. This week, she's sharing a number of summer recipes, some of which she's created just for Serious Eats—we'll be reading about blueberry frozen yogurt, chocolate zucchini cupcakes, and quite a few more. Take it away, Nancy!
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