Cooking is a science. It combines the thermodynamics of physics, the anatomy of biology, and the reactions of chemistry to create hundreds of thousands of different foods to eat. In the category of pastries, every ingredient, technique, and concept must be measured, applied, and understood to their optimum capacity. Of all the culinary innovators in town, there’s no better pastry professor than Dan Boman.

Graduating at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Boman set off to make his mark on the world. He then kick-started his career in Atlantic City working for various hotels and organizations such as Tropicana, Trump, Four Seasons, and Hilton to name a few. Moving to Arizona, Chef Boman decided to tweak his career path to focus more on cooking education; as a result, he joined the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Phoenix and our very own establishment as a pastry instructor. Throughout his 25-year career, he competed in various local and national pastry competitions to both prove his talent and improve his skills.

This year, Boman finally took home the gold. In early July, he competed against his regional counterparts during the ACF’s National Convention and Show in Orlando, Florida. To stand out from the crowd, Chef Boman created deliciously delicate centerpieces using the film series Pirates of the Caribbean as inspiration. With only 2½ hours and the help of an Art Institute student, he crafted the following in order to win the title:

Rum Runner Isle Cheesecake: Mojito key lime sorbet, vanilla chiffon sponge, strawberry-thyme gelée, macadamia almond crunch, strawberry tartar, caramel sauce, and strawberry foam

Jack Sparrow “Pieces of Eight Coin” Cookies: Peanut butter bar with milk chocolate graham cracker sandwiched between peanut butter cookies

Davy Jones “Release the Kraken” Chocolate and Pastillage Showpiece

Dan Boman

Chef Boman’s “Release the Kraken” Chocolate & Pastillage Showpiece

As a result, the ACF named him Pastry Chef of the Year, recognizing his status as a pastry chef who displays a passion for the craft, has an accomplished reputation in the pastry field, and has helped educate others by sharing skills and knowledge.

Boman now hopes to continue mentoring students, encouraging them to take part in ACF events, and participating in national pastry competitions. He is currently preparing for Classic Cooking Academy’s upcoming Pastry and Advanced Pastry series. Despite his prestige and talent, his down-to-earth attitude and humor have made him a favorite amongst his students. Like his creations, Chef Boman is one-of-a-kind.