Paola Velez

Paola Velez

Paola Velez is co-founder of Bakers Against Racism and executive pastry chef at Maydan and Compass Rose. After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in 2009, she quickly tapped into her talent for pastry and reached out to master chocolatier, Jacques Torres, with an interest in learning under his tutelage. She spent two years working with him before moving to Washington, DC to work with celebrated Chef Christina Tosi at MilkBar. Paola then served as the pastry chef at Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s, Iron Gate Restaurant and in 2018 earned her first nomination as Pastry Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). Most recently Velez served as the executive pastry chef of critically acclaimed, KithKin, located inside of the Intercontinental hotel.During Covid-19, Paola, co-founded Doña Dona, a Latin American popup to benefit Ayuda DC- an organization that supports the restaurant industry’sundocumented workforce. Paola alsohosted a worldwide bake sale with Bakers Against Racism that raised over $1.9 Million for organizations that support Black Lives and Black communities globally. In 2020, Paola was named a finalist for both the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star and the RAMW Pastry Chef of the Year awards, and was the February 2020 cover girl for Washingtonian Magazine. Paola has spoken and presented at numerous events including two dinners at the James Beard House, the 2019 Star Chefs Congress, Yale’s Sustainable Food Program, Cherry Bombe Radio, NPR’s Hear & Now, and Citi Bank’s Taste of Tennis. She has also appeared in various publications including Food & Wine, Eater, the Washington Post, the National Post (Canada), the Robb Report, and many more. (Washington, DC) @smallorchids