A fourth-generation patissier gets his just desserts
We admit it: Thomas Haas’s recurrent victory in this category has become so predictable as to risk being boring. But it speaks to the impeccable skills of the fourth-generation pâtissier that he’s claimed this title in three of the past four years. “This undisputed master,” one of our judges raves, “continues to create whimsical, wonderful chocolates, pastries, and seasonal treats with dynamic style.” While elaborate cakes and tarts are the attention-hoarding showpieces of Haas’s two shops, such is his inventiveness that something outwardly orthodox—say, a chocolate Easter bunny or a modest macaron—harbours incomparably decadent flavours. (Yes, that is a Guinness ganache mingling with praline and fleur de sel in that bonbon.) Meanwhile, his pain au chocolat is as much a love letter to butter as any edible in the city—which, needless to say, is a huge compliment.