Max Santiago

Award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Max Santiago hails as a native Floridian, where he attended culinary school after serving in the United States Air Force. He has been drawing and sculpting ever since he was able to hold a pencil, and looks at the pastry field a canvas that allows him to express his creativity. Chef Max is uniquely skilled with...

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Award-winning Executive Pastry Chef Max Santiago hails as a native Floridian, where he attended culinary school after serving in the United States Air Force. He has been drawing and sculpting ever since he was able to hold a pencil, and looks at the pastry field a canvas that allows him to express his creativity. Chef Max is uniquely skilled with over 27 years of experience in both award-winning fine dining restaurants and 5 Star, 5 Diamond hotels. A self-described trend-setter, who loves working with chocolate favors and exotic fruits. Chef Max is happiest with unusual combinations of sweet and salty, and loves to experiment with molecular gastronomy, such as foams, airs, fruit caviar, liquid nitrogen, and powders. “I love keeping food ingredients in their most natural and simplistic state, but at the same time I’m not afraid of experimenting, and I love to play with new interesting advances, technologies, and tools in our culinary world!”

In the Fall of 2015 Chef Max felt it was time to begin a new chapter in his career, his first venture as a business partner was into the world of artisanal craft donuts! Where he was the cofounder, Executive Pastry Chef, and partner of The Salty Donut.  It very quickly acquired huge success and notoriety drawing in huge crowds, and became a social media sensation!  Although Chef Max moved on from his partnership with The Salty Donut brand, he has been credited by South Florida media and locals for bringing the craft donut craze to South Florida.

In September of 2019, Chef Max stepped into his next venture, a partnership that created Batch the Cookie Company. Batch has been thriving with great success since first opening its doors in The Flagler Village neighborhood of Ft Lauderdale. Batch location number 2 is soon to open in May 2021!

Chef Max is currently one of the top, sought after Consulting Donut Chef’s in the world.  He has helped open 9 donut shops throughout different parts of the world to include: Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Toronto, Portugal, Orlando, New York, Washington State, Davie, and Miami.      “I have never stopped R & D for the quality of my donut dough. It is the absolute most important component to a good donut. I have achieved the perfect balance of a super flavorful, high fat ratio brioche style dough and that of a usual light and fluffy donut dough, always utilizing the very best ingredients” he says.

“The Donut King has returned” quoted from the May 2020 article in The Miami New Times, Chef Max has finally returned to his hometown and Native roots of South Florida! “My heritage and culture are super important to me! South Florida is my home, you can’t keep me out of it for too long! I’m back, better than ever, and with big, exciting plans for my donuts!” His new Donut Shop, named MAX’D OUT Artisanal Donuts by Chef Max Santiago, is set to open by the end of this year!

Some of Chef Max’s repertoire include: Corporate/ Executive Pastry Chef of

  • The Thompson Hotel (with Michelle Bernstein)
  • The Sugar Factory
  • The Miami Culinary Institute
  • Swine Restaurant with 50 Eggs, Inc.
  • The ONE Group at The Gansevoort South Hotel and signature brand STK
  • The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills
  • Executive Pastry Chef of The Ritz Carlton in Coconut Grove
  • The Cove at Atlantis Bahamas
  • James Beard Award winning Chef Norman Van Aken’s three South Florida restaurants
  • James Beard Award winning Chef Allen Susser
  • James Beard Award winning Chef Mark Miletello
  • James Beard Award winning Chef Michelle Bernstein

Throughout his career Chef Max has received several acclimations to include:

  • The Rising Star Pastry Chef of Miami by the Star Chefs Rising Stars (2004)
  • Top 15 nomination for “Best Pastry Chef in the Country” by the prestigious James Beard Foundation (2005)
  • Winner & Champion of Cooking Channel’s Sugar Showdown Donut Edition
  • Semi-Finalist of The Food Network’s Best Baker In America Season 2
  • “Best Working Pastry Chef” 2014 Sun Sentinel
  • Top 10 “Best Desserts of 2016” Star Chefs
  • Zagat 2014 list of Best Donuts in Miami
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