While we love just showing you delicious food 24/7, we at CT Eats Out think it's important you know who is behind the food you're eating. So, our "Twelve Days of Chefmas" series will introduce you to a dozen noteworthy chefs from across the state. That being said...
🎶 On the first day of "Chefmas," CT Eats Out brings to you.... Pastry Chef Kristin Eddy of Millwrights Restaurant in Simsbury. 🎶
How you got started in the kitchen:
Starting at a young age, I loved experimenting with recipes I saw on TV, or read in a magazine. By the time I was a sophomore in high school I knew that “food” would be my career. I was baking for fun at home and even filling dessert orders for my teachers at school. I was able to get a part time job working the garde manger station and in the pastry department at the Simsbury Inn in Simsbury, CT. I then furthered my education at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. I went back and forth on what degree I wanted to go for, Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry? I ultimately chose to get my Associates Degree in Culinary Arts, I felt that in doing so I would become more of a well-rounded person, and attain a large array of skills. I loved learning new things and thought this would be a great switch up from all of the baking experience I had gotten at The Simsbury Inn. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2010, I decided to move to New York City, wide eyed and bushy tailed, ready to take any job I could. Fortunately, I landed a job at Gramercy Tavern in the pastry department and was able to hone my baking and pastry skills. Former Pastry Chef Nancy Olson, whom I worked under was an incredible chef, teacher, and mentor. I felt she fully prepared me as a young pastry cook for whatever opportunities would come next in my career. After two years at Gramercy Tavern, I decided I would move back to Connecticut. Shortly after moving back I landed a job as Pastry Chef in the newly opening Millwrights.
Favorite Ingredient To Work With:
At the moment I am going to have to say white miso (fermented soybean paste) is probably my favorite. It is an ingredient typically used in Japanese cooking, adding an earthy saltiness to soups and sauces. Right now I have a brown sugar miso ice cream available on the dessert menu, which I am obsessed with. I think I eat at least a spoonful of it every day! The brown sugar miso ice cream has a similar flavor profile to a salted caramel ice cream, just 100x better in my mind.
Favorite Menu Item:
As of right now, I think my favorite item on the dessert menu is the “Variations of Grape”. Concord grapes are typically in season August-October. I love them so much that during that time I stock pile, and preserve as much as I can! This allows me to run a menu item that includes the grapes for an extended amount of time. I love how this dessert has so many different representations of one single fruit. “Variations of Grape” is a plain vanilla cheesecake that I have paired with Concord grapes which have been expressed in numerous ways on the plate. There is a grape “paper”, fruit leather, and a concord gel, and then the dessert is finished with a frozen goat yogurt (from a farm in East Granby).
Favorite Holiday Dish To Eat or Cook:
I really enjoy cooking for friends and family on my weekends and time off but especially around the holidays. My father has always been a hunter, so growing up having some sort of game meat was not a surprise, typically venison. My favorite dish around this time would be pan roasted venison loin, with brussels sprouts and potato gratin. Simple and easy to make, but so delicious. It’s a great way to introduce venison to guests who haven't had it before. People often have a perception that venison has a strong and gamey flavor, however when it is properly prepared and cooked it’s absolutely delicious. Making and eating cookies is also on the top of my list. I look forward to the holiday season so that I have an excuse to bake, giveaway, and eat mass amounts of cookies. I don’t usually make cookies on a daily basis at work, so this time of year it’s a really fun and special thing for me to do!
Restaurant in CT You're Dying To Try:
I have been really wanting to have dinner at ELM, in New Canaan. A past colleague has taken over as chef there, and the menu looks great! There’s a venison dish on the menu I would definitely like to order. Hopefully after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season I can venture out of small town Simsbury and make my way there!
You can follow Chef Kristin on Instagram for all her delicious desserts @kristin1323.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.