Kelly Fields

Location: New Orleans, LA
Restaurants: Besh Restaurant Group
Awards/Accolades: 2012 StarChefs Rising Star Pastry Chef, Semifinalist 2015 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef

For some diners, dessert is an afterthought. For Kelly Fields, it's the best part of the meal—and an ideal place for conversation and conversion. In the South, sweets are sacrosanct, and their fans are not always amenable to change. As the executive pastry chef for all of John Besh's restaurants (and about to co-helm her own bakery alongside Domenica's Lisa White), Fields must gracefully bridge the gulf between nostalgia and advancement of the craft, and make desserts that honor the flavors of the region yet still feel at home in a white-tablecloth restaurant. Though her elegant deconstructions of classic banana pudding or Hummingbird Cake don't look a thing like Grandma's, she makes darned sure they've got tradition baked right in.

Let Fields show you how to poach an apple.

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