Chef Michelle Palazzo

Michelle Palazzo

Director of Pastry Operations, Frenchette & Le Rock
New York City
Le Rock
New York City


Born and raised in Massapequa, New York, Michelle Palazzo has always been extremely passionate about cooking. She begged to attend cooking camps as a child; fast forward to her enrolling at the Institute of Culinary Education at just 18 years old. After a graduation trip to Italy, Michelle attended Manhattan Marymount College, studying studio art, art history and sculpture, and worked in kitchens on the side.

Chef Michelle was able to combine her art education from Marymount with her technical pastry skills acquired at ICE to push the boundaries of her pastry work. Merging these skills propelled her to challenging projects like wedding cakes.

After just three months into her first full-time pastry cook role at Reynard, the former American cuisine spot at the Wythe Hotel, Chef Michelle was promoted to pastry sous chef. Despite feeling unprepared at the time, she learned on the fly, persevered and grew into the role. 

In the spring of 2018, Chef Michelle joined Frenchette in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood to lead the restaurant's pastry program. By July of that year, Frenchette received a glowing three-star review from New York Times’ restaurant critic, Pete Wells, and by December, Eater named Frenchette “New York's Restaurant of the Year.” The following spring in May of 2019, Frenchette won the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant. 

The Frenchette team opened their sister restaurant, Le Rock, in Rockefeller Center in 2022. Like its smaller sibling downtown, the glitzy Le Rock received instant acclaim from the media; Pete Wells gave the restaurant three times in his New York Times review. 

Chef Michelle is currently the Director of Pastry Operations for both restaurants. The unique pastry menus that she has developed contain many tried and true favorites that stay on through the different seasons.