Chef Risa Magid Boyer
Vanillamore is owned and operated by Risa Magid Boyer, a NJ native and CIA graduate who saw a gap in the market for elevated dessert options preceded by sophisticated savory foods that are flavorful and approachable. After several years working in various restaurant and educational kitchens, Chef Risa realized that the entire dining experience could be elevated. She imagined a restaurant that put sweets at the center of the menu with healthy, seasonal savory food to complement.
Chef Risa trained at the Culinary Institute of America, graduating with a bachelor's degree in restaurant management and an associate's degree in baking and pastry arts. She interned at Park Avenue in NYC and Pink Cake Box in Denville, NJ and has worked in NYC restaurants Sweet Revenge and Armani Ristorante, as well as De Novo in Montclair, NJ and Finale in Boston, MA.
Risa was born into a family of sweets and artists. Her Grammie was a talented cake decorator, her Grandfather's family owned bakeries in Poland for many generations, and her great-grandfather was a late-blooming artist. In the mid-1980’s, Risa’s parents founded a retail chocolate business in New Jersey and today they are investors in ChloeFineArts, a San Francisco based art gallery. Early in Risa's career, she studied graphic arts; her passion for art eventually led her to designing desserts. She was a pastry instructor and resident chef at Sur La Table. Prior to opening her restaurant was the owner of Pastries by Risa, a small specialty cake business.
Vanillamore is a beautiful expression of many generations of passion for food, art & design.
The Vanillamore Story
‘Vanillamore®’ was inspired by chef Risa’s passion for vanilla and the way that it can be used to enhance other flavors in desserts, just as salt is used in savory food.
Vanillamore’s first year of operation was marked by many successful milestones including Chef Risa’s Rising Star Chef nomination through the Garden State Culinary Arts Awards and a 2019 honoree by NJBiz Magazine as a 40 Under 40 mover and shaker. Vanillamore has also seen accolades from NJ Monthly, Vue Magazine NJ, WABC 7 NY’s Neighborhood Eats, Jersey Bites, Montclair Magazine, and multiple features and mentions in The Record and on NorthJersey.com. The restaurant also recently won first place in the Sweets category at the Best of Essex and was designated as a “Top Brunch Spot” in Montclair, according to Yelp.
Vanillamore’s fresh take on a night out seeks to be at the intersection of elevated but casual – meeting all the needs of guests looking to find a friendly neighborhood place that allows them to explore desserts that evoke memories from their childhood (SWEET), share small plates and experience a range of flavors, textures, colors (SAVORY), and read through conversation starter cards that lead to storytelling and connection. Chef Risa prides herself on creating a restaurant where foodies, families, friends and the local community can experience exceptional service, an open kitchen, and a virtual art gallery in an immersive, approachable way (SOCIAL).