If you had to go looking for the “Rosebud,” the key to why pastry chefs became pastry chefs, Sarah Mispagel’s is easy enough to find: she grew up in a mostly vegetarian California family where sugar was a rare treat. From there she went to a natural foods store in San Diego, then bakeries as she studied at the San Diego Art Institute’s Culinary Program. But she didn’t think of taking it to the restaurant side until she came to Chicago and worked as pastry sous chef for Tony Galzin at MK, and for Leigh Omilinsky at the Sofitel Hotel. And now she joins Nightwood under Chef Jason Vincent, or as we like to call him, Cochon 555 national championship-winning Chef Jason Vincent, whose farm to table bona fides will come out as she tries to capture in sweets the fleeting moments of seasonal fruits. Right now that means apple and rhubarb upside down cake with buttermilk-rhubarb ice cream, but we’re sure it will mean many more things through the spring and summer.
Sarah Mispagel. Photo: courtesy Nightwood