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Most recently, a semifinalist in the Valrhona C3 competition this year.

Before getting her official start, the always-focused 2011 Chicago Rising Star Pastry Chef Meg Galus began her culinary career in her parents' dining room. And we don't just mean some innocent Easy-Bake-style tinkering. Galus started a bona fide restaurant for her parents, complete with daily menus, freshly prepared cuisine, and a strict policy against 'dining and dashing.' Her mother, who passed away eight years ago, continues to inspire Meg's pastry career. "My mother was a very humble woman who regularly demonstrated simple and kind acts to make the others around her happy." Influenced by motherís generous spirit, Galus works to delight guests through her desserts. In her opinion, "pastry sustains the soul." She wants her guests to feel an immediate connection with her food and experience a sense of familiarity, deliciousness, and excitement.

Galus is an Illinois native and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts. She pursued her lifelong dream of becoming a chef and graduated from The French Pastry School in Chicago in 2005, and Galus remains a strong devotee of her alma mater. She was nominated for a Jean Banchet Best Rising Pastry Chef Award in 2009 and 2010, was a featured guest chef on Holland America Cruise Lines, and conceptualized and executed the desserts and mignardises for a James Beard House dinner featuring Tru chefs.

Galus served as the pastry chef at Tru, Chicago's landmark fine-dining restaurant. She earned the restaurant notoriety and acclaim during her three-year tenure, including a feature on The Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" with her Chocolate Bar dessert. Chef Galus also earned her pastry stripes while working at Vanille Patisserie in Chicago.

Prior to joining Park Hyatt Chicago, where she can be found today, Galus worked at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower in June 2010 as Executive Pastry Chef of the hotel and of its modern French restaurant, Cafe des Architectes. Though the restaurantís desserts are created using classic French technique, they exhibit a fresh twist in her local fruit-inspired desserts.