Known to mystify, pastry chefs Gianni Santin
and Tida Pichakron returned to Dallas following
their tenure at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las
Vegas to form their own wholesale dessert company,
Haute Sweets Patisserie. Working in Trinity Groves,
we caught up with the duo “putting out a cake for
the Dallas Contemporary’s 35th Anniversary party,”
described as industrial-looking in homage to the
DC building with paint splatters made up of cocoa
butter on fondant.
Both define their partnership as a yin and yang
blend. “She’s haute and I’m sweet,” Gianni tells us.
Chef Santin, the former award-winning executive
pastry chef at Rosewood’s Crescent Court Hotel,
studied at L’école Lenôtre in Paris, Zurich, and
Toronto. With 30-plus years of experience, “Gianni
is a man of many trades and tools under his belt.
He’s like Inspector Gadget with the things he can
pull off,” Tida says. Trained at the Culinary Institute
of America at Greystone in Napa, Chef Pichakron
worked at The French Room in Hotel Adolphus
before leaving for Las Vegas to join the opening
team at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at City Center.
“We call Tida spicy because she is very passionate
about everything she does,” Gianni chuckles.
While both are completely humble, they love to
have fun taking part in reality TV on TLC’s Fabulous
Cakes, Food Network Challenge: Sugar Inventions, Extreme
Pirate Cakes, and the Food Network’s Sugar Dome. It’s
no wonder they were able to create Flaming S’mores
that seemingly levitates for Patron. That and a little
magic from photographer Maxine Helfman.
tida pichakron & gianni santin