In a delightful recognition of culinary excellence, Shaun Velez of Restaurant DANIEL has been named the 2024 “Pastry Chef of the Year” by La Liste, the prestigious independent restaurant guide based in France. Sponsored by Cacao Barry, this award celebrates innovation and creativity in the world of pastry, highlighting chefs who push the boundaries of this sweet art form.
Velez, who serves as the Executive Pastry Chef at Restaurant DANIEL, was chosen for his exceptional skill and inventive approach to pastry. “This is a fantastic acknowledgment of Chef Shaun’s dedication and talent,” said Chef Daniel Boulud, founder of The Dinex Group and the mastermind behind Restaurant DANIEL. “His contributions have been instrumental in enhancing the dining experience at Restaurant DANIEL, especially as we celebrated our 30th anniversary.”
Velez’s journey in the culinary world began at the French Culinary Institute, now the International Culinary Center, and continued through various roles within The Dinex Group. His return to New York in 2020 marked the start of his tenure at Restaurant DANIEL, where he has since been redefining dessert with his modern twist on classic treats.
Under Velez’s direction, the pastry offerings at DANIEL have become renowned for their elegance, lightness, and imaginative flair. “I’m thrilled to receive this recognition and grateful for the support from Chef Daniel and our team,” Velez remarked. “It’s an honor to contribute to the evolving landscape of pastry and to be part of a movement that respects traditional methods while embracing innovation.”
The award ceremony, held in Paris, France, on November 20, 2023, saw the gathering of culinary luminaries to celebrate the 2024 Special Award Winners. This accolade for Velez underscores Restaurant DANIEL’s commitment to culinary excellence and innovation, a principle that has been the cornerstone of Chef Daniel Boulud’s esteemed career and The Dinex Group’s global success.
With establishments ranging from the iconic Restaurant DANIEL in New York City to the upcoming Café Boulud in Beverly Hills, The Dinex Group continues to set the standard in fine dining. Velez’s achievement as Pastry Chef of the Year not only honors his individual talent but also reaffirms the group’s reputation as a bastion of exceptional culinary experiences.