Accomplished Pastry Chef Kaley Laird brings her unique style and non- traditional culinary methods to the kitchen to Rhubarb. At just 31 years old, Laird boasts an impressive resume with more than 13 years of culinary experience.
Originally from Western New York, Laird’s interest in cooking was sparked as a young child decorating Christmas cookies with her mother. What began as a holiday tradition developed into a passion that allows Laird to combine her interests in math, science, art and business.
Laird honed her pastry skills at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park Campus and graduated with an AOS Baking and Pastry Arts in 2007. Throughout her career, she has had the privilege to hold many positions within the kitchen including Pastry Commis at Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, CA, where she won the Core Award, an honor bestowed upon the individual that best displays the CORE values of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group; Pastry Chef at Michelin starred Ubuntu Restaurant in Napa, CA; Executive Pastry Chef at The Carneros Inn in Napa Valley; and Executive Chef and Pastry Chef at Aveline Restaurant in San Francisco, before returning to the East Coast to join the team at Rhubarb.
Laird is a classically trained French pastry chef with a distinct edge. She utilizes her experience with savory ingredients to broaden her repertoire of flavor combinations to create distinctly unique desserts using local, fresh and seasonal ingredients. Laird’s motto is “Flavor first. Just because a dish isn’t traditional, doesn’t mean it won’t be amazing.” Using her own dietary restrictions as inspiration, she is skilled at creating both dairy- and gluten-free options.
She currently resides in Arden, NC. When she is not in the kitchen, Laird enjoys culinary exploration, working out, and being outside.