Sonia El-Nawal, born 1963, of Armenian and Lebanese descent, has been climbing the restaurant industry’s ladder and working with it’s top chefs for nearly 20 years. Nobu, Bond St, Lafayette, Masa’s, Jojo’s, Apt, Theo…well, the list of beloved and world recognized hot spot eateries that Sonia has worked with goes on and on. Food is innate in her, a natural instinct. Since the early 80’s in San Francisco at Masa’s with Chef Julian Serrano and then back to New York at Sign of the Dove, Sonia has been creating divine and visionary desserts. In 1989 she was hired to be Pastry Chef at the notable Lafayette restaurant under the direction of Jean Georges Vongerichten.
In Paris to enhance her culinary skills by doing a “stage” at Fauchon with Pierre Hermee for six months. Soon after, Sonia opened a popular diner in Belgium where her truly NYC authentic bagels and American favorites delighted the locals and brought ardent world wide reviews including a cover feature in the New York Times “Style” section. After a four-year act in Brussels, Sonia returned to the states and landed in Miami as the Executive Pastry Chef at the Delano Hotel, Blue Door restaurant.
In 1996, as Pastry chef at Nobu, her originative desserts garnered rave acclaim. The annual New York Magazine issue, “A Taste of Summer” has often featured her recipes, most recently with “Blackberry Cobbler for Theo” in the 2002 issue. Her innovative tapas “mini desserts” designed for Theo have been the talk of the town and featured in the New York Times, Esquire, Time Out, and New York Magazine. Sonia has also appeared in numerous other venues including Elle Magazine, Home Desserts by Richard Sax and Cook’s Magazine as well as several foreign publications.
Sonia began consulting and creating the Bond St desserts in 1998 and also worked on the launch of the restaurant. Since then she has contributed her luscious talents at many high profile restaurants including APT and Theo.
Although Ms. El-Nawal is well known for her sensuous yet cozy desserts, she also has a devoted following as a private chef with her catering company Lapin Plus, Her early on cultivated passion for Mid Eastern and Armenian cuisine results in delectable tastes of pure love.
In 2003, Ms. El-Nawal moved to Mexico City to work on the opening of Condesa DF, a small boutique hotel in the heart on Condesa
In 2007, Ms. El-Nawal found herself once again spearheading a new fashion in Mexico City. A gourmet marketplace that brought a diverse variety of prepared foods, baked goods, high-end pastries, cheeses, charcuterie and many more items.
Chef Sonia currently owns and operates her unique brand, Rooster Boy Granola.
For the New Year, Rooster Boy café will open in Desert Shores bringing her granola and all day breakfast to the locals. It will be a destination for great food and ambiance.