Emily Underhill Luchetti, 1979
B.A., Denison University
Executive Pastry Chef
Citation awarded May, 2008
Emily found her first job in New York City in the New York Times’ classified section, with the title “No Typing Required.” It turned out to be a job in an executive dining room, and she quickly learned that she could get paid for doing what she loved best: cooking. From there she went to the New York Restaurant School, and then refined her resume and culinary skills with a year in France.
In 1984, Emily joined the opening team of Stars Restaurant in San Francisco. She started as a line cook and worked her way up to lunch chef. Finally, her true passion for making desserts couldn’t be ignored and in 1987 she became the pastry chef at Stars, a post she held until 1995. In 1997, she became the pastry chef at Farallon Restaurant. She is presently executive pastry chef for Farallon, Waterbar, and Nick’s Cove Restaurants, all in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition to her ongoing restaurant work, Emily has written four cookbooks: Stars Desserts (1991), Four-Star Desserts (1995), A Passion for Desserts (2003), and A Passion for Ice Cream (2006). She also created the dessert recipes for the Farallon Cookbook (2000). Her first two books were revised and re-released in 2007.
Emily is a co-host of the PBS series “The Holiday Table.”
Emily has received numerous awards and recognition from both organizations and publications. In 1994, she was named a top-ten pastry chef by Pastry Arts and Design Magazine. She received Women Chefs and Restaurateurs’ Golden Whisk award for excellence in the kitchen in 2001 and the Food Art Silver Spoon Award in 2003 for her lifetime of contributions in the food industry. In 2004, she received the James Beard foundation Pastry Chef of the Year Award.
Emily was chairwoman of the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs from 1994-1999, she is a trustee of the James Beard Foundation.