Kristen Thurman, Pastry Chef

KTI was born in Austin and raised in a small community outside of Waco, Texas. I experienced a fascination with the happenings of the kitchen at an early age. Whether I was baking deserts, preparing entrees, or helping with side dishes, I found delight in cooking and baking.

I attended Texas State University where I acquired a Bachelor's of Science in applied sociology with a minor in political science. While in San Marcos, I discovered a desire to work in a professional kitchen, soon after which I served as the only female chef on the four member kitchen-team at Wesray's, a local café off the square.

Upon graduation, I pursued a meaningful career in state service, and yet, following the 2007 legislative session, I decided it was time once again to focus on my truest passions: baking pastry and developing my culinary skills. This decision led to my enrollment at the Texas Culinary Academy (TCA) in Austin, Texas. As a member of TCA, I refined my skills working under Tony Sansalone, Executive Pastry Chef for the Driskill Hotel, and Christina Hernandez at Sanasolone's pastry shop. Subsequently, I was awarded 3rd place in the American Culinary Federation's Best in Show wedding cake category, and I graduated Cum Laude, holding a Certificate in Le Cordon Bleu Patisserie and Baking.

Following TCA, I became the Pastry Chef with Castle Hill Specialized Fitness, where I developed organic, healthy pastries and cakes. After a successful stint there, I moved on to a freelance career, opting for the freedom to more fully develop my creativity as a pastry chef.

I have held to my conviction that although pastries and sweets are indulgences, they should always be crafted from the best, healthiest, ingredients. I believe that clients should enjoy what they eat, while delighting in the knowledge that their food is good food.

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