Twelve Days of Chefmas: Molly Baker

Photo by Alex Syphers

Photo by Alex Syphers

While we love inundating your Instagram feeds with daily doses of food porn, we are firm believers that you should know the people behind your food as well as where it is coming from. Our 12 Days of Chef-mas series seeks to introduce you to the faces behind some of your favorite restaurants and brands. Follow along for the next 12 days as we help you get to know these talented humans a little better.

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Molly Baker | Owner and Chef at Let's Start From Scratch

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How I got started in the kitchen:

I grew up in a restaurant owning family, so I was always in kitchens. My mother also instilled the importance of nutrition from a very early age. When I was in high school and wanted to earn money, I would prep for one of our chefs. He really took the time to show me how to do things properly and gave me interesting tasks so I was always learning. I found cooking to be therapeutic and really enjoyed it. I then moved to the front of house, and later out of the business all together to pursue other options. I thought working in the kitchen would take the joy out of cooking for me. I was wrong. Finding a way to cook professionally and on my own terms has added true happiness to my life. I am able to be creative, do something I love, and balance being a full time mom.

Favorite ingredient:

Right now it is cardamom. I love to use it in baking. It can add something that is a little unexpected but really completes the sweet dish. Indian is probably my favorite type of food, and it's used a lot in recreating those dishes. Also, the smell of cardamom is just lovely to me.

Favorite item on your menu:

The apple pomegranate tart is my favorite right now. It's visually appealing, so it draws people in. The tart is vegan, gluten free, nut free, and refined sugar free as well, so must people are able to eat it. I love when people are really enjoying what they are eating, and then are surprised to find that it is actually good for them too.

Favorite holiday dish:

My grandmother makes her seafood dip only during the holidays. It's my favorite and I don’t know why she holds out on me the rest of the year. The past few years, my cousins and daughters have wised-up to how good it is. We now competitively stalk the dish to make sure no one is getting more than their fair share. On Thanksgiving this year there were only two of us to share it, my overboard dip recovery was brutal.

Restaurant in CT that you're dying to try:

Community Table

Funniest kitchen story:

My funniest stories come from cooking at home with my daughters. They are four and seven, have very different pallets, and are extremely honest. My older daughter is resistant to many vegetables (to my dismay), and the younger loves to throw her under the bus and be the good veggie eater. There are few things funnier than thinking you made a really good dish, having a child taste it and then getting an overly dramatic, disgusted face and a brutal critique as to why it was such a fail to them.

Social Media:

You can follow Molly on Instagram at @letsstartfromscratch and on Facebook at /letsstartfromscratchct