Photo via MistralKitchen.

MistralKitchen’s new head pastry chef, Tiffany Gilmore, came to baking by way of pottery. As you do.

Gilmore went to school for fine arts, specifically ceramics. "I always like the process of mixing clay, building the form, letting it mature, firing it. So I made the jump to baking pretty easily.”

She moves into the head pastry spot with a year at MistralKitchen under her belt. Menus change daily, which means plenty of freedom to experiment with new and fresh ingredients—which she loves to spot walking around the city and checking out the numerous farmers markets.

Originally a Midwesterner, Gilmore is still new to Seattle. After culinary school in Chicago and a stint as a Ritz Carlton pastry chef in Colorado, Gilmore chose our fair town in part for its lush, green setting and in part (no surprise) for the produce. “And also, there’s a big emphasis on quality of life instead of just work, work, work. It’s hard to explain but there’s just a different mentality here, and I really like that.” 

Here, a few of Tiffany Gilmore’s favorite things:

Dish to impress guests: When I entertain at home, I like to make rustic home-style desserts. You can't go wrong with a lovely pavlova and fresh seasonal fruit.

Secret ingredient: My secret not-so-secret ingredient is acid. A little bit of lemon juice really helps an ingredients flavor to shine without it just tasting sweet (which happens a lot in pastry).

Banned from your kitchen:  Nothing is banned from my kitchen. People are continually proving there are inventive and interesting ways to use all sorts of ingredients.

Guilty pleasure:  I love sugary artificially flavored candy: Gummy bears, Sweet Tarts, Starbursts, taffy, etc. Basically, if it makes your teeth hurt just thinking about it, I am probably going to love it.

Three things on your countertop right now: vanilla beans, cardamon sugar, and olive oil 

Place to drink on a day off:  Who doesn't love the Hurricane after work? (Which happens to be just around the corner!)

If you weren't a pastry chef you'd be: I have no idea what I would be doing if I were not doing pastry. Hopefully, I would be doing something where I would be able to create things.

Can't live without: Doritos. Seriously, Doritos.

Dessert is…By definition a course that concludes the meal. I am privileged to serve the last course our guests are going to eat. Dessert should not only taste great, but compliment the entire dining experience.

Craziest work story that can be committed to print: Well, speaking of desserts and the end of the meal, we do sometimes have guests that want something savory to finish their meal instead of sweets. We have an awesome 16oz bone-in ribeye that we cook in our tandoor oven, and one time there was a guy who had a ribeye for dessert. It might not sound too crazy but this was after already having four of them earlier in the meal. Five ribeyes. And two were topped with foie gras! Crazy.

Seattle’s hottest restaurant and bar news, delivered straight to your inbox every week.See an example!