John Kraus trained as a chef and began his career in London, England, at the Dorchester Hotel. In the kitchen there, he worked with the boulangers and became captivated by the ritual of afternoon tea and the beautiful and intricate pastry he saw each day. Still convinced he should be versatile in the kitchen, Kraus was next hired for general duties by Chef Michel Perraud, Meilleur Ouvrier de Grande Bretagne, and contributed to the opening of the Michelin star restaurant, Fleur de Sel. He continued to assist the pastry chef there in an unofficial capacity.
Upon his return to the U.S., Chef Kraus worked in pastry with Chef Robert Waggoner at the famed five-star, five-diamond Wild Boar restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. He was then appointed Executive Pastry Chef at the exclusive Magnolia restaurant under Chef Emile Labrousse. He is best known in Chicago for the innovative desserts he created while serving as Pastry Chef at NoMI restaurant in the Park Hyatt Hotel Chicago. “John has a beautiful sense of the classic, with a modern twist,” says Executive Chef Sandro Gamba of the Park Hyatt. “I love his pastry and he always knows what will please the customer.”
After Kraus attended an intensive workshop with Sebastien Canonne, Canonne and Pfeiffer saw in Kraus a unique combination of discipline and innovation that matched perfectly the mission of The French Pastry School. In 1999, Chef Kraus was invited to join The French Pastry School in Chicago as an assistant. Through the years, he worked diligently with his mentors, Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer and Chef Sebastien Canonne, participating in major competitions and special events across the U.S. and France. Chef Kraus served at The French Pastry School for ten years leaving as Chef de Cuisine to open his own Patisserie in Minnesota, Patisserie 46.
Kraus’s awards include the prestigious 2002 Paris Gourmet Pastry Chef of the Year and the Valrhona National Dessert Champion of 2002
At the 2004 Food Network’s Chocolate Challenge in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Chef John Kraus was declared the winner with his sculpture titled “Love Takes Flight”. His dramatic chocolate sculpture showcased his unique artistic skills and demonstrated a sound knowledge of chocolate.
In 2005 & 2006 Chef Kraus was named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in the United States by Pastry Art & Design magazine.
In 2014 Chef Kraus was honored as one of the Ten Best Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine.
Kraus’s fascination with pastry covers a range from viennoiserie to chocolate to candies and confections.