Best Pastry Chef Denver 2014 - Nadine Donovan
For most people, it's the last bite that leaves the most memorable impression — and at Old Major, that's certain to mean a happy ending: a sugar rush from a small taste of Verona chocolate, a vanilla-poached pear, a spoonful of figgy pudding, a slice of a nectarine tart, a two-bite lemongrass macaron. Nadine Donovan, the pastry chef at Old Major, creates utterly preposterous strokes of genius that make those Food Network blowhards look like rank amateurs. Donovan's desserts — whether faultless French macarons, maple-bacon custard with candied bacon and bourbon-soaked caramel corn, or crazy-good fried apple pie with sour-cream ice cream and crumbles of salted toffee — are a sugar-stalker's delight. Precede any of her confection sensations with chef Justin Brunson's braised octopus or charcuterie plate — all of it cured in-house — and you have the makings of a completely unforgettable evening that ends on a real high.