Originally from Austria, Chef Konrad comes to Memphis by way of a string of 5-star pastry
kitchens in Michigan and California. Immediately inspired by his new Southern surroundings,
Chef Konrad delighted in sharing his latest creation – a chocolate-covered peanut butter and
banana cake fit for The King.
But that Memphis confection had even earlier origins for Chef Konrad – a banana and vanilla
cream cake that his mother baked for him while growing up. It was here in the most formative of
kitchens that a young Konrad got his first sweet taste of pastry baking, making apple strudel and
pound cake alongside his mother. He studied television cooking shows to learn the basics.
Spitzbart began his professional career apprenticing in restaurants throughout Austria before
moving to America in 1993 to focus solely on the art of pastry. He worked at the Grand Hotel
Mackinac Island, as assistant pastry chef and then head pastry chef.
In 1996, Chef Konrad moved to the city to work as executive pastry chef at The Ritz CarltonDetroit. But after three years, Chef Konrad packed his bags once again. Drawn by the bright lights of Hollywood, Chef Konrad became pastry chef at the historic
Beverly Hills Hotel, a 5-star, 5-diamond legend with a list of celebrity guests that reads like a who’s who of Hollywood dating back to the silent film era.
In 2005, an opportunity at another 90210 property beckoned and Chef Konrad made the move to
The Beverly Hilton. As executive pastry chef, Spitzbart created delectable desserts for many high-profile affairs like Oscar and Grammy after-parties. One of the most glamorous events was the Golden Globe Awards, for which Chef Konrad created a golden chocolate dome filled with cherry chocolate brandy mousse and decorated with a chocolate film strip.
Today, Chef Konrad still relies on the basics he learned early on. “The fundamentals are most important,” he says. “Everything, even the latest pastry trends, comes from the basics. Everything new is derived from something else.” Even peanut butter and banana Elvis cakes. In 2008, Chef Konrad was part of a culinary team that cooked at the James Beard House to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Peabody Ducks. In 2009, he led a pastry team from The Peabody that competed in “Food Network Challenge: Giant Gingerbread Houses,” and won. Chef Konrad lives in the Memphis suburb of Atoka with his wife Angie and two children, Sydney and Lukas.