For 30 years, renowned Chef Sherry Yard has embraced a range of responsibilities from creating savory and sweet menus, crafting masterful breads, opening new restaurants all while mentoring an entire generation of chefs in kitchens from Singapore to Santa Monica. Yard has earned the praise of her critics and peers with multiple accolades including three James Beard Awards for the Foundation's prestigious hall of fame "Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America" for her significant contributions to the culinary profession, "Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year," and "Best Baking Book."

Yard was born and bred in Brooklyn, New York and began her culinary career at the venerable Rainbow Room, lived and cooked in London, then returned to New York City to work the stoves at Montrachet and Tribeca Grill. She moved west to San Francisco where she established herself as a prominent pastry chef at celebrated Campton Place. Wolfgang Puck then summoned her to Los Angeles where she became the Executive Pastry/ Chef/Partner for his worldwide operations. For twenty years her innovative dishes and desserts were a staple at the Academy Awards Governor's Ball, the Grammy Awards and the Emmy Awards. Working with Wolfgang, she produced segments for his Emmy Award winning cooking show, developed Puck's Cookbooks, Iced Coffee line and Frozen Foods. She was tapped by Magical Elves Production Company for the role of Executive Culinary Producer for Top Chef Just Desserts. Her award winning books Secrets of Baking and Desserts by the Yard are staples in every baker's kitchen.

Yard serves as Vice President of Culinary Development for iPic Entertainment Group where she is responsible for culinary innovation and all restaurant and brand concepts from kitchen design to menu development and standards of service. 2014 brought her first concept City Perch Kitchen + Bar a seasonal American Dining Room, to Bethesda, Maryland. This local restaurant celebrates the bounty of the Mid-Atlantic, sourcing ingredients from nearby farms and waters. Next up, The Tuck Room gastro-lounge will open in destinations across the country, including Houston, Miami and New York. This cocktail driven restaurant will showcase a progressive menu of small indulgent bites to shareable social planks with American and World cuisine influences.

In 2016, Yard will revive the iconic Helms Bakery as Chef and Owner. Helms will be revitalized into a multi-space operation, with an exceptional bakery as well as various vignettes to cater to all hungry diners.

Yard serves on the board of numerous philanthropic organizations and is a driving force of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). She is involved in fundraising efforts for the Women's Cancer Research Center, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society and the Citymeals-on-Wheels.

Learn More About Sherry Yard

What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
My earliest and fondest food memory is from when I was 2 years old - making the perfect egg sandwich grilled in bacon drippings in a cast iron skillet with my grandmother.

If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
Spoon-feeding hundreds of guests crab cake sammies at the Best of the Best event last year!

If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
A reunion with Jacques Pepin!

I never leave home without my:
Salt and a smile...oh yeah I get dressed, too.