BACK AT DEL POSTO, Headley is leading me past a formal dessert station in the main dining room, dubbed "cookie land" by the staff, and into the bowels of the labyrinthine kitchen. Arriving at his pastry fiefdom, he motions to his LY18C-20000 ice cream machine with a kind of pride typically reserved for vintage automobiles. It's not a new passion: After college, facing bleak job prospects, no band, and a fed-up girlfriend, Headley responded to an ad for a pastry assistant position. He showed up with a falsified resume and a suit, both of which were, in hindsight, poor choices. As the pastry chef toured him around his first professional kitchen, feeding him caramelized hazelnuts along the way, Headley says "this little light blub went off that I'm going to be doing this for the rest of my life."