Rising Star Pastry Chef Shawn Gawle of Saison - Biography

San Francisco, CA

July 2012

Fortunately for the world of pastry, 2011 New York Rising Star Pastry Chef Shawn Gawle was exposed to the restaurant industry at an impressionably young age. Growing up just outside of Boston, Gawle would often help out at his father’s restaurant/deli, where he quickly developed a passion for the energy and vitality of the industry—if not (just yet) its sweeter side.

Formally trained as a savory cook at the New England Culinary Institute, Gawle spent several definitive years working in some of America's most highly regarded kitchens. He began his career in Chicago, under Rick Tramonoto at Tru. In 2004, he moved to Philadelphia and as sous chef at Lacroix at the Rittenhouse, where Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix served as one of his greatest mentors and piqued Gawle’s initial interest in pastry. Gawle then assisted Chef Laurent Gras in opening Bistro du Vent in New York, before being recruited for the opening of L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

In 2007, Gras wooed Gawle back for the opening team at L2O, where Gras empowered him to spearhead the dessert program. And in 2008, with no formal pastry training to his name, Gawle proved his natural pastry prowess with a nomination for the 2008 Jean Banchet Rising Pastry Chef of the Year Award. In 2009, Chef Grégory Pugin named Gawle executive pastry chef at New York’s Veritas, where Gawle’s mastery of classic French technique freed him to channel his creativity and push boundaries with his desserts. In September of 2010, Gawle joined the team at Chef Paul Liebrandt’s Corton, a pastry prodigy firmly ensconced in his proper place on the sweeter side of fine dining. After two years there, putting out amazing desserts, he left for the West Coast and Saison.