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Pastry Chef Kristina Garbett


Three words we use to describe Kristina, honest, ambitious and fun-loving! Her favorite quote, “When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree." - Ram Dass 

Need we say more? Yes, because there is so much amazingness about Krstina we’d love to share with the world.

Kristina was born and raised in Nyack, New York. She graduated culinary school with a degree from The CIA Hyde Park and then moved to NYC. She spent a significant amount of time in NYC working at such places as Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park prior to moving to San Francisco. Upon moving to SF she taught herself how to surf and fell in love with the craft. It’s become a favorite personal passion of hers, along with other nature oriented things and of course cooking and baking with friends and loved ones.

In the way of her professional passions she is happiest when baking bread, making and eating ice cream, learning and testing out new techniques within all realms of baking and pastry. She has gotten quite good at developing and perfecting new recipes. If she were not a Pastry Chef, Kristina jokingly says she'd be a professional surfer but if that didn't work out her back up plan would be to open a yoga & surf cafe, with amazing yoga classes, storage for your board, a place to change and shower post surf with a counter to grab a perfect cup of coffee and a delicious pastry.

Back to her current profession, Kristina admires Chef Christina Tosi very much. It may seem cliché since Milk Bar is such a massive company but Kristina sees Tosi as a powerhouse who created her entire brand on making things she loves to eat! Kristina’s proudest professional accomplishment thus far has been running the pastry program at Liholiho. She fell in love with all the people that Jeff, Ravi, and Nana have brought together and she feels lucky to be part of a community who genuinely cares about the wellbeing of their restaurant family, their products, and the industry as a whole. She enjoys being challenged to come up with new dishes and pushing boundaries for herself.

Something Kristina is surprisingly good at is dancing, well maybe she’s not good at it but she loves dancing. On her day off if she’s not dancing you will find her hiking, practicing yoga and of course surfing. Sometimes she partakes in all four activities in just one single day.

If Kristina could have dinner with anyone, past or present she’d choose a few dinner guests; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nelson Mandela, and her Grandmother whom she called Nanny. She chose RBG because she’d love to hear first hand, her stories of overcoming and fighting for gender equality and civil rights. Nelson Mandela because she was born on his inauguration day, and is blown away by his stories of how he dedicated his life to racial equality. He overcame so much adversity and became the country's first black head of state. She also chose her Nanny because she passed away when Kristina was only two. Nanny was an incredible cook and loved baking, when she passed she left all her recipe cards which is what sparked Kristina’s interest in baking. Kristina wishes she could have really gotten to know her Grandmother.

If Kristina were to ever leave San Francisco, you might find her living in Mexico, Thailand, Japan, France, Italy, Norway, Hawaii, or Costa Rica. She loves exploring different cultures and their individual food scenes, and the bonus is they all have some sort of surf scene. That said, she loves San Francisco so she will stick with her favorite travel or vacation destination for now, which is Mexico. Kristina loves eating tacos, drinking mezcal, and soaking up all the sun!

We end with one of our most valued and respected qualities of Kristina. She deeply cares for the environment and has vowed to keep working towards personal goals to make our world a better place. She’d like to see governments around the world unite to enact tangible solutions to global warming, deforestation, ocean acidification, and pollution. Kristina is abohorantly against racism and takes part in fighting against racism any chance she can get. She’d like to see an end to systemic racism where people can achieve their highest potential without being hampered by harmful racist policies, views, and ideas.