Kayla Swartout’s love of pastry didn’t begin in a kitchen or culinary school, but on the streets of Paris. While spending a year traveling abroad, Kayla and her sister took a train to Paris for a weekend trip. She had planned to see all the famous sites, but instead her sister spent most of their trip having to pull her away from the bakery windows. She was in awe of the pastries at Laduree and became mesmerized by the complexity of Pierre Herme’s macarons – each window a work of art comparable to what she’d hope to see at the Louvre and nothing like what she had ever seen back home.
A few months after coming back she enrolled in The French Culinary Institute of New York City and began one of the most exciting journeys of her life. Kayla spent some time honing her skills at DB Bistro in NYC. And she currently works as the executive pastry chef at Nashville’s famed Hermitage Hotel and plans to someday soon work in Europe and start her own delicious bakery.