From attending Lycée des Métiers de l’Hôtellerie Jean Drouant at age 16, to an apprenticeship alongside Chef Jean George Vongerichten in Paris, to earning two silver medals in the Best Apprentice of France competition, Kelly Nadjarian’s passion for pastry sparked early-and has never dimmed..
After earning a diploma in both pastry and classic cooking from the luxury Majestic Hôtel-Spa in Paris under mentor Chef Paul L’Hommet, she was asked to design the entire pastry menu. Soon after, she worked at Le Royal Monceau alongside Chef Pierre Herme, one of the world’s most respected pastry chefs, where she developed a passion for macarons that continues to this day. “Pierre Herme is my idol,” says Kelly, “He will remain the master of pastry and the creator of the diversity of the macaron we can find today.”
At 21, Kelly left Paris for London to both further her career and learn English. She landed at the Mandarin Oriental, developing the dessert menu for Bar Boulud. She moved on to create a culinary program centred on macarons for Selfridges’ Belle Époque patisserie. Other stints in London include creating the first cocktail bar and dessert menu at The Basement State as Head Pastry Chef, where she also developed lively pastry classes that served both professionals and the public alike. Most recently, she worked with Chef Jason Atherton at the London Edition & Berners Tavern Restaurant where she developed the pastry menu for Scandal Water’s afternoon tea.
Kelly joined Duck & Waffle in July of 2017. She has put her expertise towards the restaurant’s homemade biscuit selection-her Peanut Butter Finger is a favourite-as well as its ice cream and sorbet offerings. Her creativity shines in her Chocolate Fondant--peanut butter panache, vanilla ice cream, praline crunch and her Warm Banoffee ‘Pie’--salted caramel, banana, rum & hazelnut. Other contributions include Rhubarb & Custard Pavlova-pink peppercorn and rhubarb sorbet, and her White Chocolate and Popcorn Birthday Cake with salted caramel.
“I am inspired by everything,” Kelly says, “from reading Vogue or going to the street market to see the fruits and the vegetables. I love museums like the National Gallery or Tate. I bring back all the color and art that inspires me, and mix them into my desserts at Duck & Waffle.”
See Kelly create her Warm Banoffee ‘Pie’, and read a Q & A with the pastry chef here.