‘King of Tarts’ Herb Keyser to Host Charitable Baking Demonstration for Fund

Herb Keyser, on the right, sells home made desserts Monday, July 1, 2019, near the Amphitheater. On the left are Chris and Kathy Hubbard, with boxes of freshly made lemon tarts. All the sales proceeds from the weekly Monday sales will go to the Chautauqua Fund. VISHAKHA GUPTA/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Chautauquans can make a charitable donation and enjoy Herb Keyser’s sweet treats at his upcoming baking event.

A baking demonstration with Keyser, known as the “King of Tarts,” will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at Keyser’s cottage.

Keyser is a longtime Chautauquan who can regularly be found outside the Amphitheater on Mondays after the morning lecture selling lemon tarts. All proceeds, including tips, that Keyser earns from selling his sweet treats benefit the Chautauqua Fund, and all proceeds from the baking demonstration will also benefit the Chautauqua Fund. Through the sale of his book and other efforts, Keyser has generously contributed to the Chautauqua Fund over the years.

“I wrote a book about lemon tarts 14 years ago,” Keyser said. “Nobody wanted to buy a book about a non-chef and a non-celebrity about food, so I gave it to the Institution. We have raised over $65,000 for the Chautauqua Fund in a 13-year period.”

His book, A Chautauquan Searches Paris for the Best Tarte au Citron, is based on famous dessert recipes from Paris. Keyser had written 100 Parisian pastry chefs and asked that they teach him to bake. Fourteen of those chefs accepted his request, so Keyser and his wife traveled to those restaurants where he was personally taught by professional chefs the very same recipes that he’ll be teaching during the event. According to Keyser, people even use the book as a tour guide when visiting Paris because of its enchanting stories about the neighborhoods and restaurants.

“We went to Paris; we went to all of the most famous restaurants in Paris and they took me in and taught me how to make lemon tarts,” Keyser said. “I had always been writing books, and I just decided to write a book about lemon tarts.”

Keyser said he is most looking forward to raising money at the event and has set a fundraising goal.

We are hoping to raise about $5,000 through the event,” he said. “It’ll go on for about three hours and they will be able to get samples of all of the desserts. Every participant will receive a treat to go home with.

With registration and a $250 charitable gift, participants will learn how to make French lemon tarts, chocolate surprise cookies, New Orleans bourbon bread pudding and summer pudding. They will also receive a complimentary copy of A Chautauquan Searches Paris for the Best Tarte au Citron and receive a printed copy of all the recipes and instructions. Two lucky participants will leave with a prize of either an entire bread pudding or summer pudding. Everyone will also leave with a lemon tart, a portion of bread pudding and one chocolate cookie.

Tickets are limited to the first 20 to register, and may be purchased online at or by contacting the Chautauqua Foundation at 716.357.6465 or

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The author Marianna Moore

Marianna Moore is a rising senior at the University of Missouri. She is studying journalism with a concentration in strategic communication. She interns as a writer for the university’s Office of Student Affairs and previously interned as a social media manager with Mizzou International Experience. In her free time, Marianna likes to volunteer at the Central Missouri Humane Society and enjoys writing poetry.