Our big kid graduated from the Culinary Institute of America’s Pastry Program in 2010. Kayleigh’s first job out of school had her moving to Chicago, to work at a much hyped bakery that, in the end, could have been a class unto itself in “How not to run a business 101”. She gave notice after half a year and began job hunting again.
She staged at a few places and then responded to an ad from Amanda Rockman, pastry chef at the Bristol, one of the Boka Group’s restaurants. The group was in the process of opening a new restaurant called Balena. Kayleigh was offered a job that day.
Fast forward many months later. Balena has just been named to bon appétit’s 50 Best New Restaurant list. It is one of only two Chicago restaurants to make the list.