Executive Pastry Chef, Craft, New York City, NY
Pastry & Baking Arts, 2005
Michal Shelkowitz was born in Israel, and raised on Long Island, New York. After graduating from ICE in 2005, Shelkowitz completed her externship at wd~50. After that, she landed a pastry cook position at Cru, followed by a stint at Gramercy Tavern. In 2007, Shelkowitz joined the team at Jean Georges where she worked with famed chef Johnny Iuzzini. She traveled through Europe gaining experience during a stage at a bakery in Provence and a trip through northern Italy. Coming back to New York City, Shelkowitz returned to Cru as pastry chef. And in 2010, Shelkowitz became the pastry chef at Dovetail where she had the freedom to create her own menu and see her ideas through from conception to plate. In 2012, she was nominated for Food & Wine’s first Best New Pastry Chef Award.
At Dovetail, Shelkowitz used unique flavor combinations in her desserts, relying heavily on vegetables, herbs and spices, to maintain synergy between the dessert and dinner menus. During the weekly Sunday Suppa series, Shelkowitz created a collection of playful Sunday sundaes—marrying sweet and savory flavors in innovative ways through her house made ice creams and toppings.
Shelkowitz was then hired as pastry chef for the newly-opened New York outpost of San Francisco-based meal delivery service, Munchery. Most recently, she became executive pastry chef at Craft, Tom Colicchio's American restaurant in Gramercy district.
When asked about her time at ICE, she says, “It was an amazing experience that really helped me immerse myself in a world that I was only vaguely familiar with.” Her advice for current students is to keep a curious spirit — “Constantly ask questions. You're not supposed to know everything right now, so take advantage of it, before the time comes when you really are expected to have all the answers! Own up to your mistakes. They happen to everyone, just make sure you learn from them.”