Rebecca Masson, owner and pastry chef, Fluff Bake Bar, Houston, TX
The backstory: Masson is the most famous chef to ever cook on television with her arm in a cast (check out Top Chef Desserts). But her career was hot long before her stint on the small screen. In 1999, she attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, earning a Diplôme de Pâtisserie and secured a coveted internship at Hotel le Bristol. Once her pastry studies were complete in France, Rebecca moved to New York where she worked in the renowned kitchens of db Bistro Moderne and Daniel, The Biltmore Room, The Red Cat and BLT Prime. In 2006, she moved to Houston to work with chef Ryan Pera at 17 Restaurant at the Alden Hotel, and in 2015, opened Fluff Bake Bar.
Why she’s one to watch: Masson is a force with a sense of humor and a heart for Houston, her adopted city. “A lot of what I make has nods to family or friends,” she says. “And salt is always my ingredient crush. I have several different salts I use for different reasons. It just balances everything out, and I can’t stand something so sweet that it makes your teeth hurt.” Balance is what makes her creations at Fluff Bake Bar so good. They are familiar and comfortable, but not old fashioned. Her most famous FBB creation is the fluffernutters, her memory of loving Nutter Butter cookies as a child transformed into peanut butter oatmeal cookies with peanut butter cream and marshmallow fluff. There are tarts and pies, wedding cakes, Rice Krispies treats with salted caramel and the Fluff pastry trays are Houston office party gold.
Upcoming projects: She is a consultant for some of Houston’s best dessert menus, including Shake Shack Houston, and Fluff continues to build its reputation as a Houston destination with Masson’s dinner with friends series as well as her collaborative Saturday morning bake sales.