Stephen Collucci grew up in New Jersey as part of a boisterous Italian family that prized Sunday suppers together. At age three, Collucci’s grandparents taught him how to roll meatballs, and he’s been drawn to the kitchen ever since. In particular, pastry has always appealed to his artistic side because of the creative presentations that desserts allow.
Collucci earned an associate degree in baking and pastry arts from the Culinary Institute of America in 2004, before returning for a bachelor degree in the baking and pastry arts management program. Between degrees, Collucci developed the pastry program at Lana’s Fine Dining, a restaurant located on the Hyatt Hills Golf Course in Clark, New Jersey.
After earning his bachelor degree, Collucci took on an internship at La Bonbonniere Bakeshoppe, a full-service bakery in Edison, New Jersey. While grateful for the opportunity to experience a strictly bakery environment, he realized that it wasn’t for him. He returned to fine dining, to work in the pastry department at Rene Pujol, a classic French restaurant in Manhattan’s Theater District. Soon after joining the kitchen, the head pastry chef left and Collucci took on his responsibilities.
During his first head pastry chef position at Rene Pujol, Collucci enjoyed creative license and supplemented the French dessert menu with daily specials. After a year, Collucci felt he had grown as much as he could at the restaurant, and heard about an opening pastry position at Craftsteak New York. Familiar with chef Tom Colicchio and Craft from his studies at CIA, Collucci was looking forward to learning from the highly regarded chef when he joined the Craft restaurant family in 2006.
At Craftsteak, Collucci was responsible for the restaurant’s bread production. In the summer of 2007, he moved west to work on the opening pastry team at Craft Los Angeles. During his time in Los Angeles, Collucci was inspired by the abundance of fresh, local produce available. However, when Colicchio offered him the pastry chef position at Craft and Craftbar in New York, he jumped at the opportunity and packed his bags again.
Collucci’s desserts are refined yet comforting, complementing Craft’s menu of simple ingredients expertly prepared. After a year at the restaurant, he joined the opening team at Colicchio & Sons in January 2010. He is in charge of both the Tap Room and dining room dessert menus and enjoys challenging himself to create desserts that guests will remember for years to come. A self-proclaimed chocolate freak, he also loves exploring ways to pair the ingredient with in-season fruits.