Born with a wooden spoon in my mouth
I grew up baking. My parents were young and money was tight, so my mom and I would spend hours in the kitchen baking, just to keep me entertained. With limited utensils and ingredients, I learned a simple technique. I learned about how food can bring people together.
When I grew up, I attended culinary school and became a pastry chef at acclaimed restaurants in Boston and Portland, Oregon. When I returned to my home state of Connecticut, I found myself making simple, straightforward treats for my friends and family. These recipes were the inspiration for Gráinne.
My philosophy is simple: put flavor first. Using only the best ingredients--including Connecticut honey, eggs, and dairy--my goal is to bring forward real, natural food with no additives, preservatives, or distractions.
THE IRISH CONNECTION
Gráinne (pronounced GRAWN-yuh) is a figure from ancient Celtic folklore thought to be a personification of the harvest. Her name translates as Grace. I love all that is implicit in this word: effortless charm, virtue, and thoughtful consideration of actions and words. Her association with the harvest also ties in with my commitment to natural ingredients.
My family came to the US from Counties Cork and Kilkenny in the middle of the 20th century. Some items, like the Brown Sugar Shortbread Buttons, are inspired by Irish treats, which I love. Others are simply Irish in spirit: soulful, humble, passionate, and playful.