Meg Galus

Pastry Chef

Meg Galus oversees the pastry programs of two premier Chicago restaurants. At Michelin-starred Boka, she might delight patrons with a yuzu-coconut angel-food cake or pumpkin mouse; at Somerset, her sought-after desserts include a “sundae-for-two” and a stellar sorbet lineup.  She’s a three-time James Beard Awards finalist, and Jean Banchet “Pastry Chef of the Year”, not to mention the subject of glowing press from Chicago Tribune and the New York Times.

Meg is a Midwesterner at heart, originally from DeKalb, Illinois. She got her bachelor’s in Theater Arts before deciding to pursue her affinity for all things rich and chocolatey. After graduating from Chicago’s French Pastry School, she worked her way up at various lauded spots around the Windy City, winning awards, earning a name for herself. Despite the awards and industry recognition, Meg stays rooted in why she started: to make people happy, and keep them reaching for their dessert menus.

Why We Love Meg Galus

Think you love dessert? Talk to Meg for five minutes about the sweet stuff and you’ll experience a world of pure imagination even Willy Wonka would shed a sugary tear over. She’s an open chocolate box of knowledge, full of surprise and delight.

“I made a list of everything that made me happy and everything I love doing, looking for common ground. And a lightbulb went off, like, oh this is what I should be doing!”

“I love everything about pastries. And I love being a pastry chef. I love the grind. I love all the good parts and the tough parts.”

6 Questions with Meg Galus

  1. How do you think about creativity, and how does your creative process work?

    I’m a visual person, and also a self-proclaimed nerd. I love research. When there’s an idea I’m working on I tend to pull references or inspiration from a myriad of different sources and then sketch or make lists and see where it takes me.

  2. You’ve said your desserts have a Midwestern heart to them. So what were some of your favorite desserts?

    Anything chocolate! Not that that’s terribly midwestern, but I think I look for simple and nostalgic flavors to be the base of what I create. Desserts are such a comfort food and nostalgia plays a big role in what people like. My parents and I always made peppermint ice cream and hot fudge every winter, and that’s something that I still do.

  3. You said on a podcast you were trying to learn more about breads. What are you working on now?

    One of the silver linings amidst all the “pivoting” we’ve had to do as a business in the past year, is that I’ve had time to take on custom projects for guests that I normally wouldn’t have had. Creating custom birthday (and other celebration) cakes has been one of my favorite things this year.

  4. How much has travel been an influence to how you’ve evolved, personally or professionally, over the years?

    Travel has always been a huge part of my life. What’s the quote, “not all who wander are lost?” I think I have discovered lots of pieces of what makes me ME scattered all over the globe. Professionally, of course I love exploring new ingredients, cuisines, and the way culture and its food are intertwined. When I was a kid my parents and I would take cross-country road trips in the summer. My first trip abroad was a trip to France in high school. During college I visited the UK for the first time, and when I graduated I moved to London for several months. That was a launching pad for a lot more international travel. Personally I love history, art, and architecture, and find inspiration in how other cultures live.

  5. What gets you the most excited about visiting Vietnam?

    I’m so excited to deep dive into the food scene with local chefs and producers, not relying on the same information that everyone else reads in books or on websites. And, of course, to experience the burgeoning Vietnamese chocolate industry up close.

  6. Ready any good books lately?

    I always have a stack of books on my nightstand at various points of completion. Currently there: Eating Viet Nam: Dispatches from a Blue Plastic Table; Barack Obama’s A Promised Land; a few books on watercolor painting (a new hobby); Toni Morrison’s Home; How to Be an Anti-Racist; and The Lost Girls of Paris.

Vietnam with Meg Galus

One Departure Only | February 11 - 18, 2022

Learn More

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