A San Francisco native, Pastry Chef Maya Okada Erickson grew up with a passion for cooking and a love for homegrown ingredients. As a child she always preferred cooking shows over cartoons, and now, at just 24 years old, her…
A San Francisco native, Pastry Chef Maya Okada Erickson grew up with a passion for cooking and a love for homegrown ingredients. As a child she always preferred cooking shows over cartoons, and now, at just 24 years old, her eager spirit and remarkable talent have led her to new heights in the culinary world. After experience at a number of renowned San Francisco institutions, she made the move to Portland where she spearheads the pastry program at renowned restaurant Langbaan.
Okada Erickson got her first big break as Pastry Chef at Orson, where she worked closely with acclaimed Chef Elizabeth Falkner to execute a constantly changing dessert menu. Okada Erickson’s experience with Falkner inspired her to become serious about pursuing cooking professionally, and it was at Orson where she started developing her signature style. Under the guidance of Falkner, Okada Erickson began single-handedly producing the dessert menu for the restaurant after just six months, while simultaneously broadening her experience by assisting with savory service.
After three years at Orson, Okada Erickson brought her talents to AQ, one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Restaurants, where she challenged herself to become more creative, and ultimately crafted some of her most noteworthy desserts. Okada Erickson then moved on to become pastry chef at the restaurant Lazy Bear where she helped them earn their first and second Michelin star. Her top accomplishments include a place on Zagat’s “30 Under 30 Best Young Innovative Chefs” list, a nomination for Food and Wine’s “Best New Pastry Chef”, SF Chronicle’s “Rising Star Chef”, and Star Chef’s “Rising Star Chef”.
During the new normal of COVID-19 Okada Erickson has pivoted to teaching online classes though Chefsfeed which allows her to bring her passion and joy for good food into people’s own homes. She has taught a variety of classes of varying necessary skill level though her favorites are ones like French macarons that require a solid technique but encourage creativity and personal interpretation of flavors, colors and presentations.