Meet Pastry Chef Cate

What inspired you to become a baker?

“Growing up, I loved being in the kitchen with my mom. We fell into a routine where she would make dinner and I would make a dessert. When I was in middle school, my sister was diagnosed with celiac disease so I actually learned how to do most of my baking gluten-free. I got to experiment and make things my own at a very young age. Once I got into high school, I started to take small orders from my friends and I worked weekends at a bakery — being in that professional setting made me realize I wanted to attend culinary school.”

What was your school training like?

“I attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and earned an associate’s degree in baking and pastry. I remember that on the very first day, we made chocolate chip cookies.”

Was there a moment in culinary school that changed you?

“I made this caramel + pineapple tart for a final project and I remember my chef telling me ‘I love seeing how excited you are about this. You seem like you’ve found what you love doing.’ My chef actually took a picture of me finishing this dessert.” (swipe to end to see Cate in culinary school)

What’s your favorite thing about working at Bellecour Bakery at Cooks?

“The people. Here, it’s all females in the kitchen. There’s a lot of empowerment and you can feel it. We all get along really well and have similar working styles, but we also challenge one another to experiment and approach things differently.”

Top 5 Bellecour at Cooks pastries — go!

“Plain Croissant; Pain au Chocolat; Kouign-Amann; Gluten-Free Carrot Muffin; Cardamom Bun.”

If you could only watch three movies for the rest of your life, what would they be?

10 Things I Hate About You (1999); Nacho Libre (2006); Legally Blonde (2001).”

Have you spotted Cate yet in the North Loop? 👀