2018 Talent

Lisa Donovan

Pastry Chef/Writer

Lisa Donovan started selling breads and cakes out of her third floor walk-up with two babies under her feet and a pile of Pierre Herme and Dorie Greenspan books on her counter top.

As a server at the famed Margot Café and Bar in Nashville, Lisa received a deep education on food and wine and connected with Anne Kostroski and Tandy Wilson who were on their way to building City House. Lisa opened City House as assistant pastry chef under Anne and, within six months, was head pastry chef under Tandy’s very encouraging, smart and efficient hand.

Lisa started the effervescent and well received Buttermilk Road Sunday Supper series in Nashville around 2009 where she fed small groups of Nashvillians around an intimate table with a full menu, usually served family style and – in the spirit of all good family dinners – plenty of opened bottles of wine to pass around.

Eventually, in 2012, when Sean Brock set his sights on Nashville for Husk, he called Lisa to ask her to be his pastry chef. Reluctant to be back in a kitchen full time, for Lisa is a wild, free, bird which no man can keep down, she eventually enthusiastically accepted and ended up learning so much about her craft, her food community and her ability to drink nearly any man she knows under the table.

Lisa oversaw the pastry production at Husk Nashville and Charleston and also began writing for food publications such as Food & Wine, Saveur, Southern Living, Garden&Gun, Local Palette and more. Lisa now spends all of her time writing, baking, consulting and learning. She lives in Nashville with her sculptor/potter husband John Donovan and her two nearly-grown, giant children, Joseph and Maggie Donovan – both about to fly the coop, making Lisa very emotional in a way she is not accustomed to. Life is funny that way. But not as funny as how I am writing a bio in third person.