Maura Kilpatrick, co-founder of popular Boston-based restaurant Oleana, proves that Mediterranean spices were made for the dessert menu. The 2016 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef finalist is known for exotic creations, like Aleppo-Peanut Tart with caramel ice cream and roasted pineapple, and Mango Lassi with sesame kurabiye and rhubarb-cardamom spoon sweets. Check out Kilpatrick's recipe for Caramel-Tangerine Parfaits, and then read on below for her answers to our burning questions.
What's your earliest memory in the kitchen?
I did not cook much until I was a teen, and then I went straight to very challenging recipes. I made a birthday cake for a friend, a flourless torte. It was so flat, but I thought it was perfect. I didn't understand the importance of whipping egg whites or what they did.
Who is the chef you admire most and why?
The chef I admire most is Oleana’s executive chef Ana Sortun. I've really valued our trust and collaboration since we opened Oleana 15 years ago, and our business partnership at Sofra Bakery. My love of Middle Eastern food and ingredients started with her.
What made you become a chef?
I became a chef because I spent so much time reading cookbooks and magazines, and was getting much better at making desserts. I wanted to do it all the time.
It changes all the time! But any book from Greg and Lucy Malouf or Yotam Ottolenghi will be part of my collection.