Vera’s culinary interest started at a very early age. As a young child growing up, she always wanted to help out in the kitchen. Most of the time, however, her grandfather-the chef of the house-only let her watch. Her curiosity grew with intensity, and she later enrolled at the New York Restaurant School to earn a degree in Culinary Arts. A native New Yorker, Vera has worked in many fine dining establishments in the city, including The Russian Tea Room, SUSHI-SAMBA, Compass, and Dovetail. During the course of her nearly fourteen-year-long career, Vera has also assisted in preparation and planning for openings of several restaurants and bakeries.
In 2008, Vera was named StarChef’s Rising Star pastry chef of the year. She has been featured in The New York Times, New York magazine, Timeout, Pastry Art & Design, and a series of cookbooks showcasing top pastry chefs. She has also appeared on local and public access television and radio shows.
TJ grew up in a large family where food was the center of gatherings and celebrations. He received a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Whales University. Upon graduating, TJ began his career traveling and working in various regions of the country; Miami, Atlanta, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. During this time, he worked under some of the country’s best chefs, both adapting to and learning from each to build upon his classical French training. In 2006, TJ moved to New York and worked in top restaurants across the city including the critically-lauded Cafe Gray and Gordon Ramsay at The London. In Europe, TJ spent time working at a three-star Michelin restaurant in Switzerland and attended a chocolate workshop at the prestigious L’Ecole Valrhona in Lyon, France.
The two married in 2008 and combined their impressive training and experience to start a business showcasing their shared love of food and all things sweet, Du Jour Bakery.