Founding Partner, Tru
Chef Gale Gand is a nationally acclaimed pastry chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, television personality, teacher, entrepreneur and mother. Chef Gand has been recognized as Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year by The James Beard Foundation as well as by Bon Appetite magazine.
Gale is the founding pastry chef and partner of the beloved Chicago restaurant Tru, opened with long-time culinary partner Chef Rick Tramonto and restaurateur Rich Melman in 1999. Tru quickly became a sensation among Chicago’s fine dining community and has earned ecstatic praise from reviewers, receiving accolades from the James Beard Foundation; the Michelin, Mobil and AAA guides; Relais & Châteaux; Wine Spectator magazine; and being named Chicago’s Best Restaurant by Chicago Magazine. Prior to opening Tru, Gand and Tramonto earned increasing acclaim at their Chicago area restaurants Trio and Brasserie T, and at Stapleford Park, an historic country house hotel near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, England, where Tramonto and Gand became the first American chefs to earn a Michelin Red M in an English restaurant in 1991.
For 8 years, Gale hosted the Food Network series “Sweet Dreams,” the first all-dessert show on the network. The show also aired on the Cooking Channel for 2 years. Gale has made appearances on “Martha Stewart,” “Oprah,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” “Baking With Julia” (Child), ”Good Morning America,” and “The Today Show.” She competed on “Iron Chef America” and has been featured as a celebrity judge on “Food Network Challenge,” “Last Cake Standing,” “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Just Desserts.”
Gale is an accomplished cookbook author with seven titles to her credit, including her most recent Gale Gand’s Brunch!, released in 2009. Earlier titles (written with Rick Tramonto) include: American Brasserie (1997); Butter Sugar Flour Eggs (1999); and Tru: A Cookbook from the Legendary Chicago Restaurant (2004). More recently, Gand authored Just a Bite (2001); Short and Sweet (2004); and Chocolate and Vanilla (2006). She is currently working on her next book, Gale Gand’s Lunch, expected in 2013.
Gale also produces her own root beer, “Gale’s Root Beer”, which is available nationally. Each year in the spring months, Gale and her son Gio supply local restaurants with wild ramps foraged from wooded areas near their suburban Chicago home.
Gale is currently the Chef in Residence at Elawa Farm in Lake Forest, Illinois, a beautifully preserved and restored early 20th century “gentleman’s farm” that is now home to an organic community garden, an ecological learning center, and a meeting space for community activities and private events. Gale cooks and bakes from produce grown in the organic gardens of the farm to sell at the weekly garden market, and hosts a series of cooking classes in the farm kitchen, including ingredient driven Master Classes, Gluten Free Classes and a Kids In The Kitchen series.
In addition, Gale frequently teaches, speaks, and does cooking demonstrations and book signings at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, local elementary and high schools, public libraries, book shops, farmers markets and myriad other locations around the Chicago area. Gale also appears frequently at national and international Food and Wine festivals.
In the summer of 2008, two of Gale’s desserts were featured at the USA House at the Beijing Olympics. Gale was chosen by Mayor Daley to create the desserts for the welcome dinner forChina’s President Hu when he visitedChicagoin 2011.
Gale participates in many national and local charities. She was a mentor in First Lady, Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move To Schools initiative, which helps fight childhood obesity through nutritional education. She also cooks and makes appearances for The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Foundation,Chicago’s Green City Market, and Chef Art Smith’s Common Threads. Gale was an executive board member of theChicago chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food, and a long time member of the James Beard Foundation and of Les Dames D’Escoffier.
Gale holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology, majoring in silver and gold smithing and attended culinary school at La Varenne inParis. She resides in Riverwoods, Illinois with her husband, Jimmy Seidita, son Gio, twins Ella and Ruby and dog, Panda.