Kelsey Figueroa

I was born in a small town in central Iowa, and grew up on the family farm there, as well as in northern Minnesota. Ever since childhood, I wanted to be a “baker” (likely due to my robust sweet tooth). I got into the kitchen early and often. All along, I knew to really pursue this career, I would have to leave my town. In order to seek a formal education in pastry, and have real job options, it would be necessary for me to move on. After college, I had a friend moving to Baltimore. I did a little research, and found a culinary school there with a pastry program led by a Certified Master Pastry Chef. I finally had the answer to my question, “what am I waiting for?” Nothing. So I made the move, largely on a whim, started pastry school, and took every class I could from my new guru. During school, I started working at a small Italian restaurant. This was huge for me. I had produced in bakeries, coffee shops, and the like before, but this was my first restaurant. I fell in love. The rhythm, the pressure, the standards, the camaraderie, I realized this was what I wanted. Here I learned to work multiple stations, I worked not only pastry but ventured over to the savory side, the hot line. This was where I decided, I will spend my foreseeable future in restaurant kitchens. While Baltimore was a great start for my career (not to mention meeting my husband there), the lifestyle never grew on me. I missed nature and the feeling of a community. An opportunity arose for my husband in Jackson, and once again, we moved largely on a whim. We arrived in Star Valley in March of 2016 and never looked back.