Baltimore Has the ‘Best New Pastry Chef’

Food & Wine named Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ford of Wit & Wisdom, the restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, the People’s Best New Pastry Chef 2012.

Feb 27, 2012
  • Wit & Wisdom’s brioches
  • Brioche macarons filled with cassis jam at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
  • A glass of dessert
  • Brownie bedecked
  • Cups of caramel
  • Perfect parfait
  • Finish with velvet
  • “A tribute to the beautiful woman”
  • Edible perfume
  • Branching out
  • Master of pastry
1/11
The brioche was pastry chef Chris Ford's first love, and this batch will be shown some love at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
2/11
A tribute to a simple sandwich: brioche macarons filled with cassis jam, at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
3/11
Specialities include Maple Custard with Marcona Almond Streusel, Salted Orange Toffee and Bourbon Vanilla at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
4/11
Pastry chef Chris Ford, at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, decks chocolate brownies with peanut butter ganache, pretzel crust, praline peanuts and much more.
Photography Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore
5/11
Caramel bonbons don't last long at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
6/11
A Meyer Lemon Parfait shows the mastery of pastry chef Chris Ford at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
7/11
Pastry chef Chris Ford's treatment of Red Velvet shows his attention to detail at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
8/11
Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ford calls his Bittersweet Chocolate Crème "a tribute to the beautiful woman" when it's finished with crushed candied violets, hazelnut sherbet, praline syrup and cassis meringue.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
9/11
Basil, Lemon and Rosemary with Passion Fruit Daiquiri Perfume is finished with a spray tableside, the inspiration of Chef Chris Ford at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
10/11
Thoughts of Tennessee inspired pastry chef Chris Ford of Four Seasons Hotels Baltimore when he created this unusual dessert, using steeped wood to evoke "the aroma of a freshly broken branch."
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
11/11
Innovative, award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ford creates fascinating treats for diners at Wit & Wisdom, Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore.
Photography Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Wit & Wisdom, a Tavern by Michael Mina, at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, has been open just a few months, but already the restaurant has much to celebrate: Chris Ford, the Executive Pastry Chef, has been named the inaugural People’s Best New Pastry Chef 2012 by Food & Wine magazine.

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando, Florida, Ford gained experience in kitchens throughout the Washington, DC, area before making his way to Wit & Wisdom. But critical acclaim is nothing new for Ford. As the pastry chef of Trummer’s on Main in Clifton, Virginia, he was named one of StarChef’s “Rising Stars” in the region.

Ford says his biggest inspiration comes from his grandmother. “I will always remember recipe testing with her when I was a child. Her passion and drive, even at the age of 80, inspire me to this day. Anyone can be a famous chef with a lot of books and accolades, but the love of a grandmother surpasses it all.” He describes his aesthetic as “elegant nostalgia,” and with recipes like an ode to peanut butter and jelly, in the form of brioche macarons filled with cassis jam, we can understand why.

His recipe ideas come from ingredients in their purest form. “I usually start with one specific subject—for example, a peach,” he says. “I think about where I want to go with the peach and how I want to tell the story around the peach, and it snowballs into other ingredients and themes.”

Ford can create elaborate dishes, but his personal favourites tend to the side of simplicity. His favorite dish to make? Ice cream, he says, because “it is a very versatile item and the flavour profiles are endless.” His favourite dish to eat? A salted chocolate chip cookie.

Some of Ford’s specialities at Wit & Wisdom include Maple Custard with Marcona Almond Streusel, Salted Orange Toffee and Bourbon Vanilla; Basil, Lemon and Rosemary with Passion Fruit Daiquiri Perfume; and Bittersweet Chocolate Crème with Crushed Candied Violets.

Hungry yet? Be sure to visit him, and the rest of the Wit & Wisdom team, next time you’re in Baltimore.


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