Tout Sweet Patisserie's Yigit Pura on First Visit to Miami: "I'm Excited to Have the Taste of a New City"
James Beard Foundation's Taste America national tour kicks off in Miami Friday, and with it come big names like internationally renowned culinary pioneer Norman Van Aken, favorite TV personality Ted Allen, and West Coast pastry chef Yigit Pura of Top Chef Just Desserts fame.
via Facebook Yigit Pura, San Francisco sweetheart.
Raised in Turkey and now residing in San Francisco, Pura won the first season of Just Desserts in 2010. After his win, the young and beautiful pastry chef returned to the Golden City with Taste Catering and Event Planning and then opened his own bakery, Tout Sweet Patisserie, one year ago. San Francisco's sweetheart, Pura is openly gay and considered to be an activist in the LGBT community.
After celebrating the one-year anniversary of Tout Sweet last week, the San Francisco chef took some time to tell Short Order about his first trip to Miami, what sweets he'll be dishing out at Taste America, and the cookbook he'll be releasing this spring.
New Times: How has winning Top Chef Just Desserts helped you act as an LGBT activist?
Yigit Pura: I've always been outspoken since I was a kid, and to this day, even though I'm practicing Buddhism, any sort of injustice still rubs me the wrong way. It's an honor to have a voice in the larger LGBT dialogue, especially with all the progress that has taken this year alone. And it's a great responsibility as well. I think we have to evolve as people and citizens in recognizing all of our equalities and similarities. Cooking, especially baking, is a great way to bring people together and have them just "be." Who doesn't love sugar, after all?
Have you ever been to Miami before? How do you feel about coming to visit this month?
I have never been. Crazy, yes. I can't wait. I love the warm weather and warm people, so perhaps I'll leave with plans on opening Tout Sweet in Miami in the coming years.
What are you most looking forward to about the event?
Meeting all of the fellow chefs, but mostly meeting all the people who will be coming to support the James Beard Foundation. I've never cooked in Miami, so I'm excited to have the taste of a new city.