Pastry Chef Tara Lewis has spent the last four years as the quiet force behind the dessert programs at San Francisco’s Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group, managing the production, recipe testing, menu design and baking at Stones Throw, Corridor, Fat Angel and Trestle. Subtle, elegant, modern, and rooted in technique, Lewis’ desserts are simple and beckon tastes of nostalgia with creations that go back to the basics and are often elevated versions of childhood favorites. Lewis’ talents will soon be showcased further at The Vault, Hi Neighbor’s soon-to-open fine dining restaurant in the Financial District.
At just 28 years old, Lewis is known for inventive and playful creations; this may be best represented in Worms in Dirt, comprised of quince gummy worms, chocolate angel food cake, caramel twigs, pomegranate seeds, dark chocolate pudding and a scoop of green apple sorbet. The dish was a recent favorite from Stones Throw’s dessert program, pioneered by Lewis, which invited guests to submit their favorite childhood dessert to be added to a list from which Lewis selects one per month, then recreates it in the form of an elevated version of the sweet treat. Other recent creations by Tara include Chocolate and Pralines, Grandma’s Apple Pie, Peanut Butter & Jelly Doughnuts, and House-Made Pop-Tarts, among others.
Lewis’ undeniable talent is only matched by her personality and character. Humble, kind, expressive and stylishly eccentric, her love and deep passion for baking is seen through the meticulous care of every dessert she plates. She’s revered by colleagues past and present. With a decade of experience including formal training from The Culinary Institute of America in NYC and past posts at San Francisco’s RN74 and Michelin-starred MICHAEL MINA, she has proven to be an under-the-radar culinary tour de force.