Environment: PROD

Zac Young

Executive Pastry CHef, David Burke Group

While employed in the wig department of the Radio City Rockettes, Zac Young had an epiphany: He would rather be baking cookies than fluffing Santa beards. After graduating with honors from the baking and pastry arts program at the Institute of Culinary Education, Zac went straight to the top, working under Sebastian Rouxel and Richard Capizzi at Bouchon Bakery.

In 2006 his talents were recognized by Alexandra Guarnaschelli, and she offered him the position of Pastry Chef at her downtown New York hot-spot Butter Restaurant. At Butter, Chef Young developed his signature style, using classic French technique, bold flavors, and fun to put a creative twist on American desserts.

Time Out New York praised his desserts as "beautiful and delicious." Always hungry for more, he trained in France with chefs as Philippe Givre at Valrhona and Philippe Parc at Chocolate Michel Cluizel. In 2009 Chef Young moved uptown to the bustling bivalve mecca Flex Mussels. His whimsical creations caught the fancy of The New York Times' Restaurant Critic Frank Bruni, causing him to exclaim, "…how lucky of us to find room for dessert," in his review. In 2010 a second Flex Mussels in the West Village and two pop-up "Flex Donut" stores in Grand Central Station opened, giving Zac an even larger stage to showcase his sweet talents.

In 2012, Zac joined the team at celebrated Chef David Burke's newest project, David Burke Kitchen in the James Hotel - SoHo. Zac's whimsically infused farm-to table-desserts are a perfect match for Chef Burke's signature style. His desserts can also be found at David Burke's other properties, including the flagship David Burke Townhouse on the Upper East Side.

Zac gained national exposure on Bravo's first season of Top Chef Just Desserts, where he dazzled the judges with his creativity and skill, grabbing a top spot in the final four. Zac's signature wit and pastry knowledge can be seen on The Cooking Channel's series, Unique Sweets, now in its third season, as well as Cooking Channel TV.com's Double Ovens.

His work has been featured on every major television network, as well as in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, New York Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, US Weekly, Redbook and AM New York.

Zac has had the privilege to cook at The James Beard House in New York, as well as at their Hamptons event Chefs and Champagne. He was honored once again when Food and Wine Magazine selected him to sail the high seas as one of Holland America Cruise Line's "Chef On Board." In his free time he competitively eats dim sum, bakes treats for the cast and crew of Broadway musicals and makes dresses out of chocolate. At the end of the day, Chef Young is most happy baking the cookies that started this whole mess.