Pastry Chef Denise
New York, New York
Denise Spooner started her culinary career at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She completed her studies by graduating with an Associates degree in Baking and Pastry Arts and a Bachelor’s degree in Food Service Management, while also minoring in Contemporary Pastry, Beverage Management and Psychology. While in Providence, she also worked in various small bakeries and kitchens during her studies.
After graduation, she set her eyes on New York City. Growing up in Northern New Jersey her whole life she always wanted to work and grow her career in her favorite city. She landed a job in a busy catering company owned by Danny Meyer called Union Square Events. This is where she sharpened her skills in various aspects from laminated doughs to chocolates to petit four and plated desserts.
After 2 years, she moved onto the desire to learn more within restaurants. She landed a job at Jams by Jonathan Waxman within the boutique and eco-friendly 1 Hotel Central Park. This is where Denise learned seasonality and sophisticated homestyle desserts and never looked back. Working at Jams, she discovered her passion for a farm to table style. As she would say “living in the Northeast with such an abundance of fruits and vegetables available, baking with anything different than locally sourced and seasonal products would just feel wrong now.” After putting in the work and years under her favorite Chef, Heather Miller, Denise was able to take the reigns and move up to Head Pastry Chef at Jams.
When Denise isn’t baking in the kitchen, she enjoys traveling and being active. Places she enjoys exploring vary from a relaxing beach day down the Jersey Shore, to hiking a trail in Yosemite, to exploring the coliseum in Rome, Italy. As long as it's new, exciting and full of delish foods along the way. Ways Denise enjoys destressing outside the kitchen also involves running, watching football and relaxing with a good beer.