Gina DePalma

Gina DePalma
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"I have had the opportunity to work with the genius of Mario Batali and a succession of gifted chefs and cooks who have enriched me as a chef and a person. It’s been a gratifying and wild ride."

Gina DePalma
Gina's Featured Recipe
Polenta Cookies from the Veneto

Click here for recipe

Gina DePalma was a pastry chef whose artfully simple Italian desserts helped make Babbo in Greenwich Village one of Manhattan’s most beloved and admired restaurants. 


She was also a cookbook author who contributed the dessert chapter for Mario Batali's book, The Babbo Cookbook. Followed by, Dolce Italiano, Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen which was published in 2007. 


Gina grew up in an Italian family near New York City working in kitchen restaurants to save money for law school. She soon decided the kitchen was more enticing than the law, and went to culinary school.


Gina became a pastry apprentice at New York’s Chanterelle restaurant and then went on to work in pastry at Gramercy Tavern, where she worked for Claudia Fleming. Her next job was as pastry chef for The Cub Room in Soho, after which she went to work at Babbo.


Gina was named as Outstanding Pastry Chef by the James Beard Foundation and won the Bon Appetit Magazine Award for Best Pastry Chef. Her work was featured in the New York Times, the New York Daily News, New York Magazine, Gourmet, Chocolatier, Food & Wine magazine, and Pastry Art and Design magazine. In 2005, Pastry Art and Design named her one of the top ten pastry chefs in America.


After leaving Babbo in 2013, she made frequent trips to Italy, gathering ideas for a second cookbook, which she completed, but had not found a publisher for. In 2015, Gina DePalma lost her battle with ovarian cancer at just 49 years old. 


Latest Recipes

Chocolate Kisses

This is one of the first recipes I created for Babbo, so these cookies carry fond memories for me. I also love them because they are inte...

(1 Votes)

Mocha-Cinnamon Bônet

Bônet (pronounced beau-nay) is possibly the ultimate custard dessert and a specialty of the region of Piedmont. Tucked in the northwester...

(1 Votes)

Polenta Cookies from the Veneto

I love, love these cookies. The combination of flavors and textures--the corny, chewy polenta, the sweet, grappa-soaked currants, and the...

(1 Votes)

Mosaic Biscotti

Everyone loves these biscotti because they are substantial and flavorful, with a firm, crunchy texture that is ideal for dunking. The nut...

(1 Votes)

La Befana’s Stars

I think it is fun to have another cookie to bake after the rush of Christmas. These cookies symbolize the story of La Befana (pronounced ...

(1 Votes)

Chocolate and Walnut Torte from Capri

I’ve sampled many versions of this cake, a specialty of the island of Capri, off the Amalfi Coast of Campania. Some contain almonds along...

(1 Votes)

Zucchini-Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Crunch Glaze

So what do you do when your garden produces a profusion of summer squash? Zucchini pizza, zucchini pasta, zucchini frittata....Eventually...

(1 Votes)

Yogurt Cheesecake with Pine Nut Brittle

Every time I put a cheesecake on the dessert menu at Babbo it is a guaranteed sellout. People can’t seem to get enough of it, and I try t...

(1 Votes)

Florentine Doughnuts with Vanilla Custard

I dedicate this recipe to my good friends German and Leah Casati. German grew up in Florence and met his American wife, Leah, when she wa...

(1 Votes)
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