all you ever wanted to know about d bar
Keegan Gerhard, named one of the nation’s top 10 pastry chefs of 2002 and 2004 by both Chocolatier and Pastry Art & Design magazines, brings a wealth of experience and abundant competitive energy to his position as Executive Pastry Chef.
A one-time cyclist, Gerhard originally pursued a career in culinary arts simply to have a mobile source of income that would allow him to train for the Olympics anywhere, any time. But convenience soon gave way to passion, as Gerhard found himself running the kitchen of a French bistro in San Diego. The day he fired his pastry chef and took over, he discovered his true passion – and it has been a wild ride ever since.
Gerhard set out to learn from the best, and worked as the assistant to the celebrated Master pastry chef, Jacquy Pfeiffer, the Alsace-born owner and founder of the French Pastry School in Chicago. Gerhard describes this as more of an apprenticeship and awakening. Subsequent positions as Pastry Chef with Charlie Trotters Restaurant, the Waldorf Astoria and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company ensued, as did a position as Corporate Pastry Chef for Dean and DeLuca, Executive Pastry Chef of Four Seasons Chicago and Executive Assistant Pastry Chef of Wynn Las Vegas. Chef Keegan is now owner of D Bar Desserts in Denver, CO.
Gerhard has an enthusiastic but controlled approach to pastries, “I like to stay away from things that are too contrived, and prefer to create desserts that are refined and elegant,” he explains. “I sometimes compare pastries to Jazz music: 70 percent is based on enduring principles or the foundation of the style, then the great musicians give you the 30 percent which is a surprise.”
When he’s not preparing seasonal product-driven delicacies in the pastry shop, Keegan spends time organizing and serving as M.C. for the “The National Pastry Team Championships” and “The World Pastry Team Championships” in Las Vegas, which is televised on The Food Network. Keegan also serves as Emcee and Host of the live Food Network Challenge Series for the Food Network.
He has been featured numerous times on the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America, as well as the Food Network and CNN. For the 2001 Pastry World Cup, he served as technical advisor to Team USA, which brought home a gold medal. Gerhard is honored to have been recognized as a Distinguished Visiting Pastry Chef by Johnson & Wales University, and has been twice named as Top Ten Pastry Chef by Pastry Art and Design magazine. Chef Gerhard has had the honor of participating in 6 different James Beard Dinners. His light, fresh fruit desserts have also been featured widely in A Neo-Classic View of Plated Desserts, Chocolatier, FoodArts, Pastry Art and Design and many other publications.