Save Room for Dessert with Sharon Vanegas of The Red Cat

Contributor
We visited her kitchen to see the pastry chef at work
Save Room for Dessert with Sharon Vanegas of The Red Cat

Jane Bruce

Sharon Vanegas has been killing it as the pastry chef at The Red Cat for almost a year.

It’s been 15 years since Jimmy Bradley opened The Red Cat in Chelsea. He was there before it was even safe enough to venture over to 10th Avenue. Now, Chelsea is a hip neighborhood with plenty of restaurants worth dining at (Del Posto and Morimoto, anyone?), and even more bars. In their 15th year, they have a new executive chef, Mike Cooperman, and a New York-native pastry chef, Sharon Vanegas.

Save Room for Dessert with Sharon Vanegas of The Red Cat (Slideshow)

Chef Vanegas’ history with pastry goes back to her roots. Her family is from Colombia and her aunt was a pastry chef there. After spending summers watching her in the kitchen, Vanegas was fascinated decided to pursue it on her own. “My aunt would work on a cake for hours using fondant, marzipan, chocolate, marshmallow, royal icing, and fresh flowers,” she says, “I remember always being mesmerized by the finished product.” 

Vanegas decided to take her passions to The Art Institute of New York where she studied restaurant management and culinary arts. She traveled the world to China, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia. In New York, Vanegas has graced the kitchens of Buddakan, Mesa Grill, and was part of the opening team of Bobby Flay’s newest venture, Gato. She landed the gig at The Red Cat this year after seeing an ad on Craigslist. Click through our slideshow to see what her desserts are all about.

Salt

The plate is sprinkled with a little Hawaiian sea salt on the edges.

Crème Fraîche

The brownie below is topped with pistachio ice cream.

Click here to see more photos of pastry chef Sharon Vanegas at work.

Jane Bruce is the Photo Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @janeebruce.

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