Ashley Torto serves as the Pastry Chef of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, where she is responsible for all pastry operations throughout the 215-room luxury hotel. This includes the two French-influenced restaurants—Margeaux Brasserie and Petit Margeaux from James Beard award-winning and Michelin Star Chef Michael Mina—as well as in-room dining and banquets. By incorporating classic French flavors and dishes with new techniques and modern plating, Torto creates beautiful, perfectly balanced desserts that provide an extraordinary experience for hotel guests and visitors alike. Torto also bakes pastries, confectionaries and baked goods for the Waldorf’s banquets and in-room dining.
Prior to joining the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, Torto served as Assistant Pastry Chef at the neighboring Sofitel Water Tower Place hotel, an experience that gives her a well-rounded perspective on the tastes of the local clientele as well as the global travelers that frequent both properties. Most recently, she served as the Pastry Chef at The Dawson in West Town Chicago. There, she created lighthearted and playful desserts based on American classics that paired with the restaurant’s unique cocktail program.
After graduating from The French Pastry School Chicago in 2011, Torto worked at renowned Chicago restaurants such as The Boarding House, The Bristol, MK Restaurant and the University Club of Chicago. “Being a pastry chef gives me the opportunity to make diners feel special,” says Torto, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology in 2006 soon deciding a desk job wasn’t for her. “There’s nothing like seeing someone’s eyes light up when they are peeking in the pastry case at Petit Margeaux, or being presented a plated dessert in Margeaux’s dining room.”