Meet the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Baker Semifinalists: Michelle Gayer
When Michelle Gayer decided to open Salty Tart Bakery in 2008, she knew the risks. Gayer already had gained fame as the executive pastry chef for Charlie Trotter’s and Trotter’s To Go in Chicago. In 2004, she moved to the Twin Cities to become the executive pastry chef for the Franklin Street Bakery where her pastries were proclaimed “grand-slam spectacular” by local restaurant critic Rick Nelson.
In late 2005, she left Franklin Street Bakery to join Le Cordon Bleu as an instructor and also became executive pastry chef for Minneapolis four-star restaurants La Belle Vie and Solera.
In 2008, Gayer recognized her dream of opening her own bakery in the Midtown Global Market in south Minneapolis. “I knew that I always wanted to do this. Sometimes you have got to be vulnerable and take a chance,” says Gayer, who was a 2014 James Beard finalist for Best Chef: Midwest. She was also a 2016 James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Baker.
Michelle Gayer is also a multiple-time nominee for the James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef and has been named Best Pastry Chef by the editors of Bon Appetit magazine.
“I only make things I want to eat, what my friends and family want to eat,” Gayer says of her philosophy toward food. “Our ingredients are pretty basic. It’s what you do with them to make them amazing.”
Salty Tart features Gayer’s extraordinarily stylish to free-form rustic creations. Sweet to savory selections like creamy coconut macaroons, golden rosemary corn cakes, pastry cream filled brioche, and savory puff pastry all perfectly compliment the custom desserts and breads made fresh daily. Gayer features the best in seasonal fruits, flavors, and baking creativity.