As St. Louis import Pastaria moves closer to its late summer opening in Midtown, chef and owner Gerard Craft is busy building his team, with word out today that Chicago's Mathew Rice is now on board as executive pastry chef.
Rice, currently the pastry chef at Paul Kahan's Publican in Chicago, has built up quite a resume while in the Windy City, filling the same role at such well known spots as Nightwood, Girl & the Goat and Little Goat, before taking over at Publican this past August.
But the move to Craft's Pastaria is a homecoming of sorts, as Rice was the opening pastry chef at Craft's modern fine dining restaurant Niche back in 2005. According to a release, the two met while both were working in Salt Lake City and have remained friends since then.
Rice also helped develop the original recipe for Pastaria's gelato program, and plans to up their ice cream and frozen desserts game, including the addition of ice cream sandwiches and the development of a monthly program of themed gelato flavors.