Andaz 5th Avenue Appoints New Pastry Chef

NEW YORK (March 4, 2015) – Andaz 5th Avenue, the boutique lifestyle hotel in Midtown Manhattan, is proud to announce the appointment of Vanarin Kuch as Pastry Chef. A Texas native, Vanarin brings over 10 years of diverse culinary and pastry arts experience, most recently serving as Pastry Chef at One if by Land, Two if by Sea. As Pastry Chef of Andaz 5th Avenue, Kuch oversees the development, creation and execution of all pastries and desserts at the hotel’s seasonally inspired restaurant, the shop, and the hotel’s meetings, events and entertaining space, Apartment 2E.

“Vanarin brings incredible talent, creativity and a passion for desserts that adds an exciting new layer to our menus,” said Andaz 5th Avenue Executive Chef Michael Santoro. “His varied background, wide range of expertise and vibrant personality will provide guests with an eclectic, one-of-a-kind experience they will not find anywhere else. We are thrilled to have him on board.”

Upon graduating with honors from The Art Institute of Houston, Kuch took on a career in savory cooking at Bank at the Hotel Icon. It wasn’t until he became a pastry cook at Rice University that he moved his focus to desserts and found a passion for concocting sweets. It’s no wonder he then jumped at the opportunity to work at Hotel Zaza as part of their pastry team, and eventually working his way up to leading the pastry staff. Kuch later started working as Pastry Chef at Tiny Boxwood’s & Tiny’s No. 5 in Houston, Texas. While there, Kuch was recognized for his excellence in pastries by receiving the Houston Rising Star Award as a Pastry Chef from and premiering on Bravo as a contestant on 2011’s Top Chef Desserts. Soon after Top Chef, New York City called and in 2012, Kuch moved on to Gotham Bar and Grill and then later to Boulud Sud as Pastry Sous Chef at both. Then in December 2013, Kuch assumed position as Pastry Chef at One if by Land, Two if by Sea.

Serving as the link to self-expression and family ties, food has always been at the forefront in Pastry Chef Vanarin Kuch’s life. As the child of Cambodian refugees, Kuch’s family deeply values their rich culture and culinary traditions with extravagant family meals. Sweetness is also honored by his family, who currently runs two donut shops in Texas.

New offerings Kuch has added to the hotel’s menus in the shop and the hotel’s meeting and event space, Apartment 2E, include Bacon and Brown Sugar Scones, Blood Orange Cremesicle Cake, Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramel and Tonka Bean Mousse.

“As a chef, I’ve always considered myself a creative in finding innovative ways to bring back nostalgic desserts of the highest quality,” said Kuch. “Andaz 5th Avenue holds such a value in both creativity and excellent food offerings that I knew it was a perfect fit.”

For more information on Vanarin Kuch, the shop and Andaz 5th Avenue, please visit:


Sarah Hutchison