NJ Chef Profile Series: Risa Magid Boyer, Owner and Chef at Vanillamore

Years ago, Risa Magid Boyer thought she wanted to pursue a career in graphic design. That lasted until she started working at a restaurant in college. “I got hired as a line cook with literally no experience other than a love for cooking,” Boyer said. It was from there that she decided to leave college to pursue a culinary career. 

And pursue a culinary career she did. Boyer attended the Culinary Institute of America, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in restaurant management and an associate’s degree in baking and pastry arts.

The Road to a Culinary Life

Even with a career-path switch, design remained important to Boyer, and in exploring the culinary world, she thought the artistic aspect of pastries would be the best fit for her. “I thought I could take what I had learned in college and my passion for graphic design and use it.” Over time (and lucky for the rest of us), she learned to appreciate the savory side of cooking as well.

Diving into the Business

When Boyer started working in the culinary industry, she ran an LLC called Pastries By Risa. However, as she made professional headway, she decided to open up a brick and mortar where she could showcase pastries.

Boyer launched Vanillamore in 2017, and while the Montclair restaurant’s sweet name brings dessert to mind, the eatery is truly a celebration of both sweet and savory. “People immediately gravitated toward our savory food,” she said. “If they didn’t have dinner the first time, they came back for it.”

Have a Seat…at Vanillamore

These days, the savory lunch and dinner items account for the majority of Vanillamore’s sales, though the restaurant still prides itself on its dessert selection.

In addition to lunch, dinner, and desserts, Vanillamore is also open for brunch, dinner, and afternoon tea. In recent months, Boyer revitalized the tea options, and offers a pre-fixe menu, which includes two tea selections.

349 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ