About Chef Kendra L. Baker
California native Kendra L. Baker grew up with a love for the traditions of local and seasonal Northern California cuisine. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Language Studies at UC Santa Cruz, Kendra took her first formal step into the cooking world working under Jim Denevan at Gabriella Café in Santa Cruz. Inspired by this experience she chose to attend one of the nation’s preeminent culinary arts programs at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. Her experiences there included an internship at the Castle Hotel and Restaurant in Conwy, Wales; an adventure that prompted her upon graduation to travel abroad once again, this time to France as an apprentice with the Yves Thuries group at Le Grand Ecuyer and Le Musee du Arte Sucre in Cordes Sur Ciel.
Her talents focusing on pastries and confections, Kendra next took a position as pastry assistant at the highly acclaimed No. 9 Park in Boston, alongside another California native Pastry Chef Kristen D. Murray, whose influence furthered Kendra’s desire to master the realm of the pastry chef.
Returning to California, Kendra settled in San Francisco, where she was the opening Pastry Chef at the popular Mission District bistro, Bar Tartine. She worked closely with Tartine owners, and James Beard award winning pastry chefs and entrepreneurs, Elizabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson. During her two years at Bar Tartine, Kendra received praise from critics including Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle, and in 2007 received the Best Pastry Chef Critics Choice Award from San Francisco Magazine. Having risen to the top of the San Francisco restaurant scene, the logical next step was the Executive Pastry Chef position at the internationally renowned, and two Michelin star recipient restaurant, Manresa, in Los Gatos, California.
At Manresa, Kendra’s full range of talents was on display and she worked with chefs and pastry chefs from around the world such as René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen (recently named as the world’s best restaurant). With her unique cuisine development methodology and distinctive culinary vision fully matured, Kendra is thrilled to apply her creativity and talents at The Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz, California.