Depth of Field Episode #6: 

Exploring Art & Science with Pastry Chef Orlando Soto



Here’s what to expect from this episode:

In this episode of Depth of Field, host Penny De Los Santos welcomes Orlando Soto, the executive pastry chef at Le Bernardin, one of the top fine dining restaurants in New York City.

Orlando shares his journey from studying chemical engineering to pursuing a career in culinary arts. He talks about his learning experiences and the honor of being part of the team at Le Bernardin, which was recently named the best restaurant in the world. 

The Recipe for Success: When asked about the recipe for success, Orlando highlights the significance of being flexible and curious. In order to stand out, he also recommends focusing on becoming really good at one thing and infusing yourself into it to create something unique. His journey to finding his voice was similar to what Penny and other podcast guests have experienced in photography.

Challenges of Culinary Arts: Although pastry making has many similarities to other art forms such as photography, Orlando discusses several unique differences. For example, the perishability of the art he creates, as well as meeting the expectations of clients and diners while working in the high pressure environment of a fine dining kitchen.

Progress over perfection: Orlando shares how he was able to grow throughout his career even when he had moments of doubt. It’s important to not take things personally in the kitchen and remember that it’s ok if you don’t get it right because the next time will be better.

Tune in to find out more about Orlando’s unconventional journey to becoming a top pastry chef through combining his passion for both art and science, overcoming doubt and challenges, and finding inspiration when he is stuck in a rut.

Topics covered on this episode:

  • Transitioning from engineering to a success career as a pastry chef
  • Being part of a team that has received three Michelin stars and many top awards
  • Blending science and art in the kitchen
  • How flexibility can be the key to success
  • The importance of embracing risk and staying curious
  • How a conversation with his grandfather in Puerto Rico helped form his career path
  • The similarities and differences between culinary arts and other creative careers
  • Overcoming doubt
  • Where to find inspiration

Connect with Penny:

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes:

More about Depth of Field: A Creative Change in Perspective

Find inspiration and creativity with your host Penny De Los Santos. Listen to interviews with other visual storytellers, photographers, chefs, mentors, editors, and creative directors about those times in our creative lives when we feel a little lost and uninspired.

Penny is a photographer, director, and a visual storyteller, with over 20 years of experience in the photography industry.

Watch the video episodes of Depth of Field on YouTube. Keep up with Penny and the Depth of Field podcast at and on Instagram at @pennydelossantos.

Using Format