Just over six months after being voted Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef 2022, Pía Salazar now claims the ultimate accolade of The World’s Best Pastry Chef, sponsored by Sosa – a worthy recognition of this extraordinary Ecuadorean talent on the global stage. She hasn’t always been quite so celebrated, however – not long after opening her restaurant, Nuema, in 2014, she was questioned by her peers when she proposed adding mushrooms to a dessert. But with risk comes reward, and just less than a decade later, Salazar is proving all her doubters wrong.
Born in Cuenca in the Ecuadorean Andes, Salazar has a deep appreciation for her country’s produce, exploring wide-ranging ingredients in her desserts. Following her husband Alejandro Chamorro’s dishes of veal heart, Andean duck and paiche fish on their 15-course tasting menu, she blends sweet with savoury in desserts such as leek with lemon verbena and tonka bean, white seaweed with black garlic and yeast, and orange blossom with cassava. It shouldn’t work, but it does – as evidenced by Nuema’s debut as the first Ecuadorean restaurant in the 51-100 list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2023, and Salazar’s run of recognitions as a pastry pioneer.
It’s no surprise Salazar has done well. After completing her culinary studies in Quito and Mexico City, she worked under Astrid Gutsche, herself a former Latin America’s Best Pastry Chef, at the Quito branch of the renowned Astrid y Gastón. It was there she met Chamorro, with whom she went on to open Nuema, named after their three children, Nuria, Emilio and Martín. But Salazar has surpassed all expectations for a pastry chef from Ecuador, a country whose culinary scene is up-and-coming but isn’t yet firmly on the global gastronomic map. If it’s up to The World’s Best Pastry Chef 2023, sponsored by Sosa, we’ll be hearing a lot more about Ecuador’s treasures from now on.
The World’s Best Pastry Chef Award recognises and rewards talent and excellence in the fields of desserts and pastry. The accolade is voted for by the Academy, formed of 1,080 independent restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets from across the world.
Discover more about the previous award winners