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FM On Demand: Building a sweetly sophisticated pastry program at University of Rochester

Harvest Table Culinary Group’s Chef Mina Rivazfar-Hoyt has been hands-on with pastry since she was in high school. Later, she worked at famed grocery chain Wegmans, opened her own bakery and even competed on the Food Network. Now, she’s bringing her sweet skill set to the University of Rochester.


Baking is in some ways an exact science, and in others, a true art form. Chef Mina Rivazfar-Hoyt blends those two aspects into one hardworking pastry program at the University of Rochester with Harvest Table Culinary Group.

She got into baking back when she was just 15, spending half of her school days immersed in sugar, flour, eggs and frosting. Her career has been a progression of experiences in the pastry world, with some peaks including opening the Something Delicious Bakeshop and competing in the high-pressure world of TV show competitions with the likes of Duff Goldman and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro.

At the University of Rochester, Rivazfar-Hoyt is bringing a bit of that Hollywood glamour to the pastry program, introducing new sweet treats and showing off a bit of her skills: She can ice hundreds of cupcakes while newbie pastry chefs are just filling up their frosting bags. Her confidence is contagious, though, and speaking with her helps us appreciate the art form and constant challenge that pastry can be.

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