Dessert Person

Clayton Native And Online Star Invites Everyone Into Her Kitchen

Claire Saffitz

freelance recipe developer, video host, YouTube personality

the Internet's favorite pastry chef

"Anyone can be a dessert person, even people who think they're not."

Claire Saffitz is an unapologetic, self-described dessert lover. In fact, she titled her first cookbook, Dessert Person.

She says the cookbook celebrates baking, pastry and all things sweet. But this St. Louisan says being a "dessert person" is also an attitude. "It's about embracing cooking and eating as fundamental sources of pleasure. This book empowers reluctant home bakers to bake with more confidence and approach food with greater joy."

Claire currently lives in New York City, and she's contributed to NYT Cooking. Before freelancing, she was senior food editor at Bon Appétit magazine, where she worked for five years in the test kitchen. She hosted the series "Gourmet Makes" on the Bon Appétit YouTube channel, where she used her classical pastry knowledge to reverse engineer popular snack foods and candy.

This culinary adventurist attended Clayton High School, graduated with honors from Harvard University in 2009, studied classic French cuisine and pastry at École Grégoire Ferrandi in Paris in 2012, and completed her masters degree in history at McGill University in 2014. 

"I believe no meal is complete without something sweet at the end. When a server asks me if I saved room for dessert, the answer is always, emphatically, 'yes.' Whipped cream is my favorite food of all time," Claire confides. 

She says she wrote this cookbook to toast and defend the love of desserts. "The recipes represent my attempt to demonstrate just how versatile and flexible baking can be."

This New York Times best-selling cookbook was published during October 2020 by Clarkson Potter. It can be ordered online at PenguinRandomHouse.com/books/609892/dessert-person-by-claire-saffitz.

One baking ingredient that Claire recommends for this fall is quince (a pome fruit that resembles a hard-fleshed yellow apple/pear and tastes a bit spicy and citrusy). "Quince are one of my favorite fruits, and their window is short. I poach them, which is necessary to make them edible, and brings out their incredible tropical aroma."


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