kyla kennaley {pastry chef}

 

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about.

I am a pastry chef.

I grew up in rural Ontario; surrounded by small farms in a lakeside oasis where fresh and local produce was readily available. I won my first pie baking contest at the age of 6 and have been baking ever since.

My formal culinary training occurred at Algonquin College in Ottawa in the early '90s while I was completing my bachelor’s degree from the University of Ottawa. In truth; I went to cooking school because my mother and grandmother before her worked in kitchens and were great cooks,  and during university, I realized that I hadn't paid as much attention to them as I should have. I wasn't a very good cook. I could bake....but not cook. Combining Culinary Management with an Arts Degree is an excellent well-rounded education and has provided me with many opportunities. 

In 2004  I left my job as a flight attendant and opened a pastry shop and café; Madeleines Cherry Pie and Ice Cream, in Toronto. Madeleines’ was the perfect platform to share my passion for tradition, using only local and sustainable ingredients.  I realized that there were a lot of people like me who wanted familiar recipes and real food so I brought my mom and my brother onboard and together we built the Madeleines.ca brand. 

Drawing on my experience working in cafes and restaurants and bringing in apprentices from around the world, in 2012 we expanded the operation and opened a bespoke wholesale production kitchen catering to fine food retailers, grocers, cafes and restaurants. The acumen I acquired as a business leader is entrenched in my passion for pastry as a craft. Success comes from understanding that the combination of art and science in baking is really a microcosm of all things. 

This led to a role as a resident guest teacher at George Brown College School of Continuing Education and has given me the chance to enable others to follow their dreams.

Over the years my passion and business have attracted the attention of local and national media with an abundance of press. Most memorable was the recurring spot as the in-house pastry expert on CBC's Steven and Chris where I shared seasonal recipes, and tips and tricks for home baking.

This has led to the most exciting adventures...

I AM THE NEW JUDGE ON THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW  {A franchise of the world-famous Great British Baking Show}

Together with Pastry Chef Bruno Feldeisen, and the amazing and talented hosts;  we share the tent with 10 top home bakers vying for the coveted trophy and challenging themselves to bake the perfect dessert!

AND I have relocated to London, England, where I am researching the concept of flavour. How something tastes depends on your memory, your chemistry, and your biology. I am studying the science of creating memories through taste and mapping out how to answer the question "How does it Taste?" All the while, I spend my days at the iconic Savoy Hotel in the Strand working as the Talent Development Manager for the Food and Beverage Department, training the next generation of Hospitality Industry Professionals. Sharing my stories, experiences and passion with my colleagues is rewarding and educational.  Cheers!

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© 2020 Kyla Kennaley