One of the most rapturously lauded desserts currently being served in Chicago, the bicycle-tire-inspired Paris-Brest dessert at Balsan, which we described elsewhere as “biting into a toffee cloud,” just became an endangered species. In the latest example of pastry chef musical chairs, Stephanie Prida, whose superb desserts were part of what won Ria two Michelin stars and its less expensive sibling Balsan plenty of fans, is leaving to join L2O.
By any reckoning this is a win-win; Prida, most deservedly, gets one of the only three-Michelin-star pastry positions in the country, while L2O, which nobody has particularly thought of for dessert, gets someone who can make the end of the meal stand out as much as everything leading up to it. Chef Francis Brennan acknowledges this point frankly: “Stephanie adds this depth to our pastries and desserts that just wasn’t there before. She’s the missing piece that we didn’t have for so long. We’re complete and now we can step on the gas.”