Metropolitan Life North Building
11 Madison avenue
New York, Stati Uniti
Since 2015 Mark Welker hasbeen the executive pastry chef at Make It Nice, a group comprising Eleven Madison Park (3 Michelin stars, 3rd in the World’s 50Best), The Nomad and Made Nice, three famous establishments owned by chef Daniel Hummand maître David Guidara in New York - these will become 5 in 2017, with the opening of Nomadin Los Angeles and 45 Park, another fine dining establishment scheduled to open in New York by 2018.
Raised in Indiana with the aroma of his mother’s ginger bread, his destiny was already set: after high school he attended culinary school in Louisville, Kentucky, and learnt the basics at Larry Forgione’sAn American Place. He attended the French Culinary Institute in New York, where he explored and became passionate about bread. «But I wanted to go to France», he said going through his biography in an interesting podcast you can listen to on Stitcher«because I wanted to understand where pastry making was born. I went to Bezier. With hindsight, I recommend everyone should do it but it’s not strictly necessary: travelling too much can be damaging in the long run. And in any case in America we have all it needs to learn to become a successful pastry maker».
Once back in the US, he helped a friend open a coffee shop in St Louis and right after that he read an ad: Eleven Madison Parkis hiring. «I want to be there», he thinks. He applies and becomes part of the team. In 2008 the restaurant doesn’t even have a star: they will get 3 in a row between edition 2010 and 2012, a stunning escalation. «I started by working headlong», says Mark, and in little over a year he was already pastry sous-chef.
Since 2015 he leads a team of some 30 pastry makers, equally divided between EMPand Nomad: «An incredible workforce. We obviously don’t just do desserts but all the bread too, breakfast at the hotel, outside events... The other day we calculated we make 3500 muffins per week». Difficult? «Our job requires a big effort, serious people and good guys ready to work hard. Unfortunately we live in the millennium fever: younger chefs leave without even working one whole year. This is what frustrates me». What does it take to stay on board? «Be clean and organised. Nothing good will ever come from a dirty pastry maker».
The best dessert ever made? «Milk and Honey at Nomad».
born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes.
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Milk and honey, the signature dessert from Mark Welker, executive pastry chef at Eleven Madison Park (3 Michelin stars and 3rd in the World's 50Best) and The Nomad in New York. The American pastry chef will be among the speakers at Dossier Dessert, an event enriching the afternoon on the opening day of Identità Milano, on Saturday 4th March 2017 (photo Studiotraveler/Tabelog)