Rising Stars: Birch & Barley’s Tiffany MacIsaac

Washington's restaurant scene is full of promising young chefs. Here are 13 rising culinary stars that we think are worth your attention.

Who: Tiffany MacIsaac, pastry chef at Birch & Barley

Age: 29.

Why we chose her: Childhood favorites (oatmeal cream pies, Hostess cupcakes) get a gourmet upgrade, and she puts together one of the area’s best bread baskets.

Hometown: Haiku, Hawaii.

Also worked at: Union Square Café and Cru in New York City.

Childhood memory: “A Japanese lady would sell creamsicles and pudding pops on the beach. My sister would get one and I’d get the other, and we’d go halvsies. Now I always have a pudding pop on my cookie plate.”

Food epiphany: “I turned 18, moved to New York, and got my first job as a hostess. I was scared to go in the kitchen. One day they cooked a tasting menu for me, and I realized food wasn’t just to fill your stomach.”

Guilty pleasure: “Laffy Taffy. No one ever has it, so when I see it, I get like 30 and keep them in my purse.”

Favorite cheap eat: “BonChon Chicken in Annandale. That was a spiritual fried-chicken experience.”

Most visited Web sites: Perez Hilton, Eater, StarChefs.

Stimulant of choice: “I drink a decent amount of coffee. Irish coffee with Jameson and Baileys—but only on a day off.”

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