Hello there! My name is Kelly Lynch. I’m a baker and pastry chef–though, if you would have told me that four years ago, I might have laughed in your face. I was a social policy major with big ideals and a desire to change the world in some way or another. And while I had yet to figure out how to do so, thoughts of food never extended far beyond the table.

Then, through a series of influences and circumstances, including my first apartment and the discovery that I would indeed have to feed myself, things started clicking. I started cooking and baking. I started visiting farmers markets, wishing I knew what to do with all that great produce. I started reading food blogs. That was a big one, for it led me not only to vast resources of cooking advice, but also to larger food issues, which the social policy major in me took to immediately. I realized that food was the social justice issue I had been looking for this whole time! Problems of social inequalities, the economy, the environment, our culture and our health could all be improved by tackling one major issue: our food system.

So finally, as I finished school, I found some clarity and purpose. Then things got even more interesting: my aunt came to me and said that she wanted to re-open our family’s old Italian bakery in Chicago, and she asked me to be involved. I figured, why not do what I love, learn more about the industry and how to run a business, get involved in the community and local economy then go from there? But of course, I didn’t have any culinary experience outside of my own kitchen. So to start, I went to Italy, where I stayed with my grandparents, worked at a small town bakery, and learned how they bake bread–an incredible experience, which I chronicled here. My next step was baking and pastry school for a year, followed by work at various bakeries in and around Chicago. All the while, we have been renovating the old bakery building and getting it ready again for business.

This is my new adventure, my starter, or biga, if you will, (to go along with the whole Italian bread theme).  I figure it’s appropriate. This blog will hopefully help me sort through all of my experiences and culinary adventures, and also share some fun facts about the old bakery, the new one, and anything else I feel like writing about. Though let’s be honest, it’ll likely be all about food.