Claudia Fleming

Executive Pastry Director, Union Square Hospitality Group

Claudia Fleming is the executive pastry director at Union Square Hospitality Group, overseeing menu development and pastry innovation across the group’s collection of award-winning restaurants.

Claudia spent the first twenty-five years of her life dedicated to ballet and modern dance. After moving to New York City at the age of 21 to continue her training, Claudia quickly discovered the restaurant community, working front-of-house positions at Jonathan Waxman’s Jams and Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe. It was at Union Square Cafe that she first transitioned to the kitchen, working as a line cook and gravitating towards the restaurant’s pastry department. Determined to further hone her skills, Claudia apprenticed at the prestigious Pâtisserie Rousseau et Seurre and Fauchon in Paris, before returning to New York City to focus on pastry full-time.

It was in 1994, after stints in the kitchens of Montrachet and TriBeCa Grill, that Claudia again connected with Danny Meyer, joining the opening team of Gramercy Tavern as the restaurant’s pastry chef. As Gramercy Tavern found acclaim as one of the country’s most beloved American restaurants, so did Claudia’s forward-thinking pastry program. During her eight-year tenure at Gramercy Tavern, Claudia cemented herself as one of the country’s most influential culinary voices and in 2000 she was awarded “Outstanding Pastry Chef” by the James Beard Foundation.

In 2005, Claudia left New York City for Long Island’s North Fork, opening the North Fork Table & Inn with her husband Chef Gerry Hayden. Forging collaborative partnerships with local farmers and artisans, the North Fork Table & Inn helped cultivate a thriving local culinary community and became a fixture of the region.

Now, returning to her roots at Union Square Hospitality Group, Claudia brings her unmatched expertise to the role of executive pastry director, helping to mentor the next generation of chefs.

Claudia is also the author of “The Last Course,” a seminal cookbook first published in 2001 and reissued in 2019, as well as “Delectable: Sweet and Savory Baking” coming out in 2022.