John Kraus – Chef and Owner of Patisserie 46
Featured Chef in the 2015 Vanilla Vine, Issue #2
Few have experienced the thrill of competing in the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie. Even fewer have experienced the excitement of making it onto the podium. Chef John Kraus, esteemed pastry chef and team captain of the 2015 Bronze Medal U.S. Pastry Team, gave us some insight into what the life- changing event was like.
“It was a year of real focus and work, and we were really pleased to be on the podium. It was the first time for the American team to be on the podium in 10 years and it felt surreal,” Chef Kraus explained. “Our team worked so well as a unit and we were so comfortable with our coaches. Everything was geared for a positive experience. There was never an argument, only a solution.”
He also commented on the overall camaraderie at the event. “The whole competition is so special. Everyone involved pushed toward the end goal of embracing the art of pastry. There was no patriotism, just appreciation for the craft.”
With a top-notch team, great attitude and dedication, it is no mystery as to why Chef Kraus has been so successful, both at this event, and throughout his career. His advice to those coming up in the industry: “Keep your head down! It’s all about absorbing as much information as you can. Stay focused and don’t miss a beat—there is always something new to learn.”
While winning Bronze was quite an honor, he says his greatest achievement has been opening his own business, Patisseries 46, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and brother-in-law. His business exemplifies his down-to-earth demeanor, with his menu consisting of approachable, non-pretentious choices. The chef said, “Pastry is for everyone, I want everyone from all walks of life to enjoy what it provides in the moment.” And though he has had great career success, Chef Kraus remains humble and focused on what is important: doing what he loves and providing his customers with the very best.
We first got to know Chef Kraus when he worked for the renowned French Pastry School in Chicago, Illinois, over a decade ago. It was then that Chef Kraus also developed an appreciation for Nielsen-Massey products. Today, he still uses Nielsen-Massey products to offering his customers outstanding menu items. “We are particularly fond of the Mexican, Tahitian and Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans and Extracts. We also use the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste, and Pure Peppermint and Lemon Extracts quite a bit.”
He also knows the importance of choosing the right product per application. “Each bean is specific to what you are making. When making something spicy, I use Mexican Vanilla Beans; with something cold infused or fruity, Tahitian Vanilla Beans. And I use the Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean for everything; that’s my favorite.”
With an impressive career, a Bronze Medal from the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, and a successful business combined with hard work and quality ingredients have indeed landed him a very sweet spot at the top.