Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan could be considered a pastry triple-threat: highly acclaimed pastry chef, custom mold designer and award-winning video producer.
An artist his entire life, Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan never intended to end up in a kitchen. During his first career as a musician he took the odd restaurant job to help make ends meet; he ended up accumulating 15 years of kitchen experience along the way. The creative fulfillment he used to find as a musician now is channeled into his pastry, producing whimsical and wildly inventive desserts.
When MacMillan’s band broke up, he moved to Austin, Texas and began looking for a new steady gig. He was hired on the spot at The Four Seasons, where he quickly saw the parallels between cooking and art. He honed his technique at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin followed by the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
Returning to Austin in 2002, Chef MacMillan re-opened the historic Driskill Hotel featuring a state-of-the-art show bakery where guests could view all the pastry action while eating their desserts at a modern dessert bar. From there, Chef Jimmy opened several independent hotel properties, traveled abroad for specialized training with pastry masters and developed many pastry programs for the luxury properties where he was employed.
MacMillan has competed internationally, medaling in several major pastry competitions such as Truffe D’or (Switzerland), The National Baking and Pastry Team Competition (Atlantic City) and The Indy 500 ‘Food Network Challenge’.
In 2006, MacMillan was appointed the executive pastry chef at Avenues in the five-star five-diamond Peninsula Chicago. He was responsible for the pastry design and development at the property’s four restaurants. He worked initially with Graham Elliot Bowles to make desserts that were at the same time whimsical, classical and contemporary.
After a chef change at Avenues in 2008, Chef MacMillan developed a close relationship with new Chef Curtis Duffy. The two closely collaborated so that the meal progression from savory to sweet was seamless in terms of technique, taste and style. MacMillan’s tasting dessert menu featured six sweet courses and included interesting touches such as individually coursed bread service and ever changing take-home sweets.
Chef Jimmy MacMillan has been published frequently; his hyper-creative desserts have been featured in numerous pastry publications such as So Good..(Spain), Pasticceria Internazionale (Italy), Dessert Professional, Pastry’s Best, Pastry and Baking North America, and Pastry Art & Design.
In 2011 Pastry Chef Jimmy MacMillan started Chicago-based JMPurePastry LLC with his wife Julie. The duo creates high quality, well designed pastry products for the restaurant and baking industry. JMPurePastry also specializes in producing culinary videos. Chef Jimmy MacMillan has been named one of “2013 Dessert Professional’s Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America”. In 2011, Chef MacMillan was awarded “Chicago Rising Star Pastry Chef” by Starchefs.com. MacMillan was a James Beard Award semi-finalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2009.
Macmillan collaborates with the Chicago School of Mold Making to design custom molds for the restaurant pastry chef which can be found for sale on the school’s website. Chef MacMillan spearheads and produces the Emmy® Award-winning Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition, an innovative video series that spotlights top pastry chefs from all over the country. The web series has recently been nominated for a 2013 James Beard Foundation New Media Award and is entering into its third season.
Chef MacMillan works full time overseeing the pastry program at Cathedral Hall at the University Club of Chicago. For more information on Chef Jimmy MacMillan and JMPurePastry LLC visit: www.JMPurePastry.com