CHEF DEVIN BRADDOCK
Chef Devin Braddock spent her childhood in Tampa, FL until she eventually moved to Miami in 2009 in order to attend Johnson and Wales University for Baking and Pastry Arts.
After moving to Miami, she realized that she would benefit more from the hands-on experience that comes from being thrust into a busy kitchen. This is when her focus had shifted, and accepted her first pastry position at Sunny Isles Italian eatery, Café L’attito, and never looked back.
Soon after, Braddock relocated to Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, where she served as pastry and line cook for three years. She wore many hats in this position, working her way through each role in the kitchen and familiarizing herself with the ins and outs of the industry. This was during the transformative period that Wynwood experienced, and Braddock was able to witness firsthand the birth of the burgeoning arts district that we recognize today, and the culinary strides that rippled in its wake.
In 2012, she accepted a role under the tutelage of James Beard-nominated pastry legend Hedy Goldsmith at Michael’s Genuine in the Design District, who became her mentor in all things pastry.
Moving forward, she accepted the role of Pastry Chef de Partie at Alter under the esteemed culinary team of Chef Brad and Soraya Kilgore. During her time there, she learned a wealth of knowledge about molecular gastronomy and gives credit to the talented duo for her newfound organizational skills.
Next, she ascended to the role of Corporate Executive Pastry Chef at Chef Daniel Serfer’s Miami concepts, Mignonette and Blue Collar. It was here that she was allowed full creative direction and quickly asserted her unique style into Serfer’s menus.
She became known and loved for creating dishes that convey a sense of childhood nostalgia for the more refined palate. The team then went on to create a pop-up ice cream shop called Tricycle, where Braddock churned out intricately delicious confections like Opalys Stracciatella and Cranberry ice cream, Molten Brownie Batter cookies, and Café con Leche pie on a
Currently, Chef Devin is part of the Ariete Hospitality Group as the Corporate Executive Pastry Chef, overseeing the recently Michelin star awarded restaurant, Ariete, Chug's Diner (Bib Gourmand), Brasserie Laurel (Michelin guide mention), Nave (Michelin guide mention), The Gibson Room (Michelin guide mention) with many other projects in the works.
What inspired you to enter the world of pastry?
My grandmother was an incredible wedding cake decorator in Tampa, FL and she opened my eyes at a very young age to the world of pastry. She was so incredibly detailed, focused, and created some of the most beautiful desserts I have ever seen. There was something about the look of making flowers by hand, the smell of butter and sugar creaming together (a smell I still am in love with), and the impossible seeming possible that really made me decide that this was the career for me.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
Often times, I am inspired by my dreams. Since I was a child, I typically have very vivid dreams of food
and there are times I will wake up, jump out of bed and run to work so I can make that “thing” I dreamed
about the night before. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it always very exciting.
Who in your life has been the biggest mentor/inspiration in your career?
HEDY GOLDSMITH. She mentored me during my time at Michael’s Genuine. She called me “grasshopper”
and I soaked in everything during my time with her.
How is your team responding to the new realities of the world during and eventually post-COVID-19?
It’s been a tough ride. During COVID I was lucky enough to continue working, but most of my work during that time was done alone or with my sous chef in an empty room. We were so excited to reopen and really start digging into high numbers and building our team Post Covid, but unfortunately it became increasingly difficult to find proper hires afterwards. I run with a very small and strong team now. It definitely taught us to work well with each other and to push ourselves everyday while striving for perfection. I think it has made every single member of the team the strongest versions of ourselves and most importantly, it built the team to a place where nothing seems impossible.
What Social Responsibility/Community initiative are you the most proud of taking part in?
I feel as though Miami needed a bit of a culinary “push” after COVID to bring that hunger and healthy competitive drive back to our community. I am lucky enough to work with Chef Michael Beltran, a chef that never slows down or wavers from the goal of bringing good food to our city. During the pandemic, we were able to build a grocery store out of our Cuban Diner, Chug’s. We were offering affordable and good food to the community and I felt we were able to really keep the community excited about food and feed the people most importantly. Through hurricanes, a pandemic, and many changes in the world, I feel the most joy when I can use my work to help people with a sense of “normalcy” in the ever-changing world.
What are your hopes for the future of the world of food and pastry?
I hope above all, pastry chefs stay hungry.
What should the role of the food/pastry industry be in the community? The world? The environment?
There are a lot of ways to reduce waste which has been something I have been working with my team on. Because pastry is such a science, it is very easy to make a mistake on a recipe throughout a work day. Food waste is a huge concern for me and my team, so if a mistake is made, we regroup, figure out a way to troubleshoot or use the ingredients in another way in order to reduce waste. I think as pastry chefs, it’s often hard to prevent waste but not impossible and that’s something that can maybe be a small step in a better direction for our environment.
What is your earliest dessert memory?
Definitely going to Alessi Bakery as a child in Tampa, FL.
I was amazed by the dessert display and the fresh baked Cuban Breads and I will NEVER forget the smell walking in.
If you could pass one bit of insight down to a chef just getting their start, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!
What is your favorite perk of the Cercle V program?
I have had a love affair with Valrhona my whole career. My favorite perk is honestly just being considered! It’s been on my list of goals for quite a while now and I’m just honored to be a part of it!
When & how did you hear about Valrhona for the first time? / When & how did your “relationship” with
I worked at Michael’s Genuine in 2012 and my Executive Pastry Chef solely used Valrhona. Believe it or not, I did not enjoy chocolate in general previous to that. I realized I DO like chocolate after working with her, it turns out I only like the BEST chocolate and I haven’t changed my mind on what brand I use to construct my desserts with since then.
Celsius or Fahrenheit?
Currently, Boie De
Favorite flavor pairing with chocolate?
Go to snack?
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee all day!
Favorite kitchen tool?
Who do you follow on social media?
Amaury Guichon, Thalia Ho, Antonella Re are my current favorites.
Favorite type of dessert to make? To eat?
I LOVE ICE CREAM. To make and to eat. It’s the most versatile dessert to feed any sweet craving.