Meg Galus, the celebrated 2011 Chicago Rising Star, serves as the Pastry Chef at NoMI Kitchen. Working closely with Executive Chef Ryan LaRoche, Galus uses her classic techniques combined with the innovative palate selections to enchant the NoMI Kitchen dessert menu.
Starting her career in her parent’s dining room, Galus created a “local” restaurant complete with daily menus, freshly prepared cuisine, and a strict policy against “dining and dashing.” It is here that Galus’ desire for her guests to feel an immediate connection and a sense of excitement about her food was born. Destined to become a pastry chef, Galus receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Arts before graduating from the French Pastry School in Chicago in 2005. While in school, Galus worked as an intern at Vanille Patisserie in Chicago.
During her time at TRU, Galus sharpened her skills, working through the ranks from cook to pastry chef in the span of two years. While there, she quickly gained notoriety most visibly with her Chocolate Bar dessert featured on “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” She also met and worked with Ryan LaRoche, current executive chef at NoMI Kitchen. Taking her dessert experience to the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower as executive pastry chef in June 2010, Galus made the switch from fine dining to hotel, where she managed pastry for banquets, catering services, room service, as well as the hotel’s modern French restaurant, Café des Architectes.
Galus was recognized as a Rising Star by Starchefs in 2011 and named one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs of 2012 by Tasting Table. Galus recently placed as a semi-finalist in Valrhona’s C3 International Dessert for Restaurants competition. In 2012 Galus was selected as one of the 50 pastry chefs in the running for Food & Wine’s Best New Pastry Chef issue.
Since 2009, Galus has been featured as a guest chef on Holland America Cruise lines, and was invited to conceptualize and execute the desserts and mignardises at two James Beard House dinners. Nominated for a Jean Banchet Best Rising Pastry Chef Award in both 2009 and 2010, as well as Pastry Chef of the year in 2011, she also placed third in the first Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition and is featured in the Emmy-award winning documentary about the event. Her desserts have also been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers, including Today’s Chicago Woman, Chef’s Connection, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Home & Garden, Cocoaroma, Plate, and Dessert Professional.
Galus – an admitted perfectionist – is content whiling away the hours crafting pastries that combine a gentle twist of French technique with the comfort of familiarity. Her belief that “pastry sustains the soul” shines through her creations, eliciting the joy of surprise with her pastry. Undoubtedly, Galus’ passion for French cuisine and her insatiable drive to provide a truly inspired experience adds another exciting dimension to NoMI Kitchen.
Galus is currently competing on Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition as one of four Chef Finalists chosen from all over the globe to compete. Visit their site each month through April 2014 to watch her compete and find out the winner.