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Age: 52
Home Town:
Berkeley, CA
Favorite Ingredient:
fresh fruit
Signature Dish:
hazelnut praline and chocolate semifreddo
Mentor: influenced by her parents' accomplished, but dessert-free, cooking

Monique Siu’s introduction to the culinary world came via stints in catering and pastry while she was a student at Reed College in Portland. She then made the leap to opening the much-admired Zefiro as the co-owner and pastry chef. After selling her shares of that restaurant to her partners and taking some time off, Siu then opened Castagna with chef-husband Kevin Gibson. Why did she gravitate to making desserts? While her parents were both good cooks, neither made sweets. Siu knew if she wanted those treats she’d need to make them herself. She is experienced on both sides of the house and still oversees the dessert menu at Castagna. Her menus change with the seasons, ice creams and sorbets are made in-house and while herb-infusions make an occasional appearance, chocolate is ever-popular.

Hazelnut Praline and Chocolate Semifreddo

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