Back in Seattle, making pastries and cheering for the Seahawks.

“It was kinda like fate.” The timing was just right: Seattleite Renee Bolstad was working in New York City and pining for home when chef Rachel Yang of Joule and Revel fame happened to be in town.

“We met for an hour, and she asked if I would come out and trail. I just really fell in love with the restaurant group, and she hired me a couple of days later. So within like a week and a half I was back out here. And I love it!” 

Bolstad first began to learn about Asian flavors and techniques at Spice Market New York. Back in Seattle, she’s prepared to try new ideas and flavor combinations. “Right now I have a garnish on one of my desserts that’s basically a tempura batter, but it’s got chocolate in it. I’m learning different things that are opening my world.”

When she’s out of the kitchen, Bolstad is very likely at a Sounders, Seahawks, or Huskies game; a huge sports fan, she tries to take advantage of any time off to indulge in tailgating, hanging out with friends, and cheering on Seattle’s athletes.

Here, a few of Renee Bolstad’s favorite things: 

Dish to impress guests: I think homemade ice cream is the best thing you can make for someone.  

Can't live without: My family and friends.

Dessert item on the Revel menu: The chai semifreddo with flourless chocolate cake, chipotle chocolate sauce, and fried chocolate. 

Kitchen pet peeve: Oh there are so many. Well, I'm not the most graceful girl, so when people don't pick up after themselves it gets a little dangerous for me. I've fallen more than a few times.

Place to eat on a day off: Ha! What's a day off?  I've only been back a month, so I'm excited to start trying out all the great restaurants in Seattle I've been missing out on.

Secret ingredient: My newest obsession is vinegar and I'm going to figure out a way to incorporate it in more desserts.

Chocolate is… my mom's favorite.

First pastry I baked: I'm half-Norwegian so some of my earliest baking memories are with my Grandma making lefse, rosettes, and krumkake.

Guilty pleasure: Cheese and wine.

People I’d like to bake with [and why]:  Wow, so many...Michael Laiskonis and Francisco Migoya because I think they are amazing and legendary. I almost want to enroll in pastry school again to both of the places they are instructors, but I don't have that kind of money. Elizabeth Faulkner because she is talented and seems like a lot of fun. Jordan Kahn, because his desserts and plating are artistic and inventive, and I love his savory and sweet balance.

Craziest work story that can be committed to print:  What happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen. 


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