Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Heather Chittum was exposed to a multitude of diverse cuisines that sparked a deeper interest in food. Food became a secondary interest for Chittum when she left New York to study government and international relations at Clark University. Upon her graduation in 1994, Chittum moved to Washington, D.C. to work for former New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. During her four years working on Capitol Hill, Chittum developed a particular interest in fighting poverty and hunger, which led her to her next job working for Share our Strength, a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending hunger. SOS introduced Chittum to some of the most influential chefs in the United States, and inspired Chittum to revisit her longtime passion for cooking and translate it into a career.
In 2001, Chittum enrolled in the Fundamentals of Pastry Arts program at L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland where she worked alongside Equinox’s acclaimed Pastry Chef Lisa Scruggs. Three years later, Chittum was appointed pastry chef for Circle Bistro, Dish and, soon after, Notti Bianche, which opened in May 2005.
In November 2005, Chittum was tapped to become the pastry chef at Michel Richard’s Citronelle, where she worked under the mentorship of Richard, who himself spent fifteen years as a pastry chef. Chittum’s fast-growing prestige was duly recognized by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington when she was nominated for the 2006 Pastry Chef of the Year. In May 2006, Chittum returned to her position as pastry chef at Dish and Notti Bianche, alongside her husband, Executive Chef Anthony Chittum.
Chittum enjoys building simple desserts that play with sweet and savory seasonal ingredients from local farmers. In dishes like her Big City ‘Smores, the architectural sensibility learned from mentor Richard, and the simple, homey appeal of Lisa Scruggs, come together in a playful recreation of the American campfire snack. A shot glass of milk is presented next to a sophisticated tower of bittersweet chocolate and fluff mousse, marshmallow, and buttery tart shell.