In The Restaurants

Meet the Women Behind Some of Your Favorite Desserts

Meet the Women Behind Some of Your Favorite Desserts

Mar 8, 2019
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8 (and every day) we want to give a shout out and honor four women who make us all want to skip dinner and go right to dessert. These are the pastry chefs behind some of Lettuce Entertain You’s most famous (and top selling) dishes. Have you ever dug into the Oh My! Caramel Pie at Beatrix? How about the decadent Coconut Chocolate Cake at Booth One? We all know you’ve grabbed a cookie at Summer House Santa Monica or indulged in an Ice Cream Sundae at RPM Steak before, right?

Beatrix's Oh My! Caramel Pie with a dollop of whipped cream

Let us introduce you to the extraordinary talent behind these delicious desserts:

Pastry Chef: Andrea Coté

Restaurant: Booth One

Did you know: Chef Andrea worked at three Michelin-star Per Se as Pastry Chef de Partie. Before landing that incredibly prestigious gig, she studied pastry at the International Culinary Center in NYC. When she graduated, she joined the pastry team of Jean-Georges and Nougatine at Jean-Georges. She dreams of owning a French bulldog which she would name Ducasse after famed French-born chef, Alain Ducasse.

Headshot of Andrea Cote Pastry Chef at Booth One

Dessert you definitely know: Chef Andrea’s Chocolate Coconut Cake with coconut mousse, shredded coconut and hot fudge. It was the first dish I ever made for Rich Melman in our first tasting and he loved it. It’s been on the menu since the restaurant opened.

coconut chocolate cake from booth one

Dessert she’s most proud of: The Original Cheesecake Circa 1954 with sour cherry compote. Let us tell you a story about this super classic cheesecake as told by Rich Melman, himself.

“When Lettuce took over the Pump Room in ’76, there was a tiny bakery in the basement tunnel that ran between the Ambassador East and Ambassador West and it was run by a baker named Mikey Schultz. Mikey had been there for more than 20 years at that time and some of the Pump Room desserts were his recipe. The cheesecake we do now is Chef Andrea’s take on his recipe.”

Cheesecake with cherries from Booth One


Pastry Chef: Yasmin Gutierrez

headshot of yasmin gutierrez

Restaurant: Beatrix

Desserts you definitely know: Oh My! Caramel Pie

beatrix caramel pie


Emmy’s Gluten Free Coffee Cake
 emmys coffee cake from beatrix

This gluten-free goodness has famous fans. It’s named after “Shameless” actress Emmy Rossum, who is a Beatrix regular when she is filming in Chicago.

Did you know: Chef Yasmin makes more than 500 cookies fresh every day and created more than 25 new recipes in just 2018 alone! Due to the high demand for her house-made cookies & pies, Chef Yasmin loves to come up with new recipes and specials like the Stuffed Nutella Cookie, Tall, Dark & Berry Handsome Chocolate Cake, Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookie and more!

beatrix chocolate chunk cookies

Dessert she’s most proud of: With a hand pipe and her creativity, Chef Yasmin has mastered the art of beautifully decorated cookies. You can count on these customized, made-by-hand cookies for everything from holidays’ to the premiere of the new Star Wars movie.

decorated cookies from beatrix

And what we’re most proud of?: Chef Yasmin was named one of Zagat Chicago’s 9 Under the Radar Chefs to Watch This  Year!


Pastry Chef: Erin Mooney

chef erin mooney headshot with cookies
Restaurant: Summer House Santa Monica. She also oversees the pastry programs at Stella Barra Pizzeria and Mon Ami Gabi.

Desserts you definitely know: Summer House cookies! Erin’s famous cookies are the first thing you see when you walk into the restaurant and since the Chicago locations of Summer House and Stella Barra opened, they’ve sold nearly 600,000 cookies! Her personal favorites are the Peanut Butter Cookie, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and the Chewy Double Chocolate. 

Cookies from Summer House Santa Monica
Dessert she’s most proud of: Our Sticky Toffee Pudding with apple compote, medjool dates, brown butter ice cream and walnut crunch – its got a great kick with the sweet and savory blend of the cinnamon and chili pepper.

Summer House Sticky Toffee Pudding

What she’s most proud of at home: It’s funny how my proudest moment as a chef actually has to do with my son. I knew I’d be super bummed if he grew up to be a picky eater, so I was obsessed with cooking him things like curried lamb stew and spinach pie. I can’t believe how much it paid off – he will literally eat anything, which is no small feat for a toddler.


Pastry Chef: Hannah Mendelson

RPMs Hannah Pastry Chef Headshot

Restaurant: RPM Italian and RPM Steak

Dessert you definitely know: Ice Cream Sundaes at RPM Steak. “Whenever there are rotating items on a menu, try them! I have a lot of fun with these sundaes since they change seasonally, and I can play with delicious flavor combinations.”

RPM Steak Dulce de Leche Sundae

Dessert she’s most proud of: The Coconut Carrot Cake with white chocolate at RPM Steak. “This carrot cake recipe is my favorite and makes people that don’t like carrot cake love it. Not to mention, this was part of my tasting with the chef team at RPM when I first got the job. I’m pretty sure, this is what won them over.”

It all started with chocolate and ice cream: I have always done some sort of pastry since I began working. When I was 14, I had an internship with a local chocolate company in Columbus, Ohio. From there, I moved on to work for Jeni’s Ice Cream in their bakery doing all the confections for the ice creams. Before heading to Chicago, Hannah was the Assistant Pastry Chef for Hollywood Casino Columbus and in 2015, she moved to Chicago and attended the French Pastry School. After school she took over as Pastry Chef for Nellcote and RM Champagne Salon before joining the RPM team in June 2017.

RPM Steak Cookies and Cream Sundae

Did you know: Hannah’s book collection is no joke. I spend a lot of time reading and collecting Pastry books. I ran out of room to put them because I have so many! I think learning new techniques and trends is the key to being good in this industry. Being with the RPM division, I  the opportunity to work with all types of cuisines which pushes me to learn and discover new desserts every day.

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