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Justin Burke-Samson showcases his love and dedication to serving delicious, seasonally-inspired pastries and desserts as the head Pastry Chef for Kindred Restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina, and soon-to-open Hello, Sailor in Cornelius, North Carolina. Justin, who moved to Charlotte a year ago from Boston, Mass., is completely self-taught through passion and repetition over the past decade. Justin practices crafting his delectable desserts at home, and is all about playing with nostalgia, while not overthinking what it takes to make a dessert great. At Kindred, he’s curated a menu that is reflective of the flavors of North Carolina, and crafts well-balanced desserts that won’t leave patrons in sugar shock. For Kindred, favorites include the Sour Plum Tart with cashew shortbread, damson plum, oat crumble, and buttermilk ice cream, Milk Bread Pudding crafted with Kindred’s famous Milk Bread, fig, butterscotch and cognac, and the Chocolate Birthday Cake with sweet cream ice cream and sprinkles. We can expect to see the same level of detail in flavor, execution, and plating when Justin expands his post to Hello, Sailor.
Prior to working with the Kindred team, Justin was known for his creative partnerships, including Stacked Donuts and Trademark Tarts, a pop-tart and donut popup shop that toured across the U.S., as well as Modern Gramma, a dessert tasting menu popup inspired by his late grandmother’s recipes from the ‘50s. Both pop-ups garnered national media attention, including rising star chef nods from Epicurious and Eater National, and a Best Dessert award from Travel & Leisure. These pop-ups are what Justin attributes turning a lifelong passion and hobby of baking into a career. Before moving to Charlotte, Justin also worked as a recipe contributor for Kinfolk Magazine, Food52.com, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine, and competed on Food Network and Cooking Channel shows, including Beat Bobby Flay and Sugar Showdown. Justin resides in Huntersville, North Carolina, with his husband and their two dogs.