Alumni Tyler Davis Named Executive Pastry Chef

“My time at SIUE helped me to become the very creative individual that I am today.”–Tyler Davis

Tyler Davis, ‘07

Executive Pastry Chef, The Chocolate Pig

Left: Tyler Davis making ice cream. Photo Credit: E. Dustman

Tyler Davis was recently named executive pastry chef for The Chocolate Pig, which opened November 8 in Cortex Innovation Hall. As a concept restaurant, The Chocolate Pig specializes in creative and contemporary plates that elicit a unique and memorable dining experience.

Davis earned a bachelor’s in literature and music performance in 2007 from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. “My time at SIUE helped me to become the very creative individual that I am today,” commented Davis. “The art and music programs are some of the best in the Midwest.”

Following his graduation from the University, Davis went on to work at The Crossing in Clayton, DeMun Oyster Bar, and then became a savory chef for six years at Element in Lafayette Square. He assumed the role of pastry chef there for two years before taking his current position at The Chocolate Pig. Along the way, Davis even started his own dessert business, Alchemy Artisan Bakery.

Each and every dessert thoughtfully crafted by Davis is not only an adventure for the palette, but a work of fine art, making the experience very much an aesthetic one too. Filtering through numerous recorded thoughts and ideas spread across his journals, Davis has created a menu that is a true work of art. His current dessert menu is inspired by his nostalgia-filled childhood, “I take a lot of inspiration from my life, said Davis. “I really enjoyed eating milk and cereal as a child…it is probably my favorite dessert to make here.”

As Davis carefully embellishes and assembles desserts, one can see that he certainly uses creativity in his work. With a few spritzes and dusting of powdered sugar, he debuts his new dessert, “Snow Globe,” which features pain d’epices, chestnut crémeux, and gingerbread ice cream. His desserts reflect an individual who has put in countless hours and effort to learn, grow, and finally arrive at a destination that is far from mediocre. “If there was something I would tell the students of SIUE it would be this—stay true to yourself. I have always embraced my creativity,” commented Davis, “and staying true to my calling has really enabled me to develop along my path.”

Tyler Davis (Chef Tai) has garnered national attention for his appearance on the Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship and he was also nominated for Feast Magazine’s Top Pastry Chef of the Year.

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