BILLINGS — Life just keeps getting sweeter for Veronika Gerasimova.
The owner of Veronika's Pastry Shop at 2513 Montana Ave. in Billings was selected Wednesday as one of five finalists for Outstanding Pastry Chef / Baker in the 2023 James Beard Awards. Finalists were selected from a pool of 20 semifinalists.
Eight Montana restaurants were selected as semifinalists back in January, but only Gerasimova advanced to the finals. Winners be announced on June 5 in Chicago. The James Beard Awards have been described as the "Oscars of the food world."
Gerasimova, who came to Billings from Uzbekistan in 1999, opened Veronika's on Labor Day weekend in 2017, and it's been a hit ever since.
If you'd like to try one of her famous pastries, you'll have to wait a few days: Gerasimova posted on the shop's Facebook page that she is on vacation through Monday, April 3. She'll reopen April 4.