CT Chef Series: Kristin Eddy
Welcome to the first installment of our CT Chef Series! We are going to be traveling around the state to get to know some of the talented chefs that are making Connecticut a dining destination.
In 2017 the Connecticut Restaurant Association named Kristin Eddy ‘Rising Star of the Year’, but anyone who knows Kristin or knows of her knows that she has been a brightly shining star long before this year.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Kristin worked in Daniel Boulud’s DBbistro before joining the Union Square Hospitality Group working at Gramercy Tavern under head pastry chef Nancy Olsen. Luckily for all of us in Connecticut, she came back from New York and became the Pastry Chef at Millwrights upon it's opening in 2012 and has been creating delicious and magical desserts ever since.
Biggest Influences: I would have to say everyday life, my family, my friends, my co-workers. I surround myself with people that love food and being around food and that culture. My dad is an avid gardener so he’ll get seeds and plant something bizarre and be like here ‘use this Kristin’ and I’ll make something up with that. Having discussions with people, reading books, following inspiring chefs on Instagram, Stephen Collucci, I love following Cookshop I’d really like to go there. There’s a thousand people that I think are so inspiring just following them and keeping up with the trends. But everyday life is probably the most influential for me.
Ingredient obsession: I don’t think there's one particular thing I’m obsessed with using but obviously I love chocolate. Incorporating chocolate into a lot of stuff is a big one for me. I like using miso; it adds a sweet, salty, savory element. There’s a brown sugar miso ice cream that I’ve done before, and it gives that elevated flavor to your ice cream that you can’t necessarily get from just making a caramel sauce.
What food trend(s) are you sick of?: I’m not really into the cupcake trend. It was like the cupcakes, the cruffins, the cronuts, that whole thing. I think the concept is cool, bringing together two types of pastries to create one but it definitely gets overdone. If it’s not executed perfectly, it just doesn’t translate well.
Favorite kitchen tool: I have a couple, I have a little mini whisk that I love using, it’s like the perfect size, and it fits in your hand so comfortably, it fits in the smallest pots, and it’s great if you have a smaller bowl. Everybody else loves it; everybody steals it, I’m always like “this is my personal mini whisk, go buy your own.” My offset spatula which is really good for multitasking and multiuse, grabbing things from a pan, using it to roll tuiles. Those are my two.
Biggest pet peeve in the kitchen: (besides mini whisk theft) Here at Millwrights we don’t have a dishwasher during the day, so everyone has to wash their own dishes. Obviously, if you have dirty dishes, take them to the sink, wash them and be done with it. That doesn’t always happen, so I have to go over and get mad and put people in their place sometimes.
All time most memorable meal: Probably the tasting menu that I had a Gramercy Tavern. I worked there for two years and right before I was leaving I had dinner with my mom and dad, and they put together a special menu for us, printed out, and it even had the date and “Farewell Kristin.” I don’t remember the exact dishes that we had, but I think we had like 12 or 13 courses, phenomenal. Every dish was incredible. It started at the beginning, and you think nothing else can be better than this, but then it built on it with every course.
Favorite cheap eat: Falafels. I love falafels. I’ve done them here a couple of times for family meal. They’re so easy to make just ground chickpeas and spices and herbs. You fry ‘em and eat them with some tzatziki sauce - they’re just so good.
Favorite guilty pleasure: I love the Tavern Burger from Millwrights, when I really want to splurge. The perfect balance of sweet and sour with the caramelized shallots and pickles. And the fries that get slightly drenched in the bearnaise sauce that drips off the burger as you eat it - so good. Oh, and chocolate cake after that, like together. I know it’s nothing crazy but just a The Tavern Burger and a big honking piece of chocolate cake. Maybe a glass of milk with the cake, or a big scoop of coffee ice cream.
Most coveted pieces of equipment: I would love a blast chiller that makes your life ten times easier, if you need something frozen quickly, on the fly, it does it instantly. I know a lot of times I’ll have trouble if I’m trying to get something in a mold and there’s no space in the freezer. I have to let it sit in the fridge to cool down and then it takes 6 or 7 hours so that I can pop it out of the mold. If I had a blast chiller, it’d be instant.
What is your favorite dessert you’ve ever made: The Sweet Potatoe Pie, that I have on the menu still. It’s dairy free, gluten free, and processed sugar-free. I’ve made a lot of desserts that I love but this one in particular because just about anyone with any dietary restrictions can eat it. Which makes it a nice thing to have on the menu available - AND it’s tastes really good (*Editor’s Note: I have had this dessert, and it is excellent).
Favorite places to eat in CT right now: I love Krust and Osa, El Pollo Guapo is fantastic. There are a thousand places I’d like to go to when I can get out. I want to check out Grano. I heard they’re doing amazing stuff with fresh pasta.
Photos by Sarah McCoy Photography
Check out our behind the scenes video of Kristin making a new dessert for the Millwrights menu - Chocolate cream puffs, tart cherry sauce, dark chocolate crumb and pistachio croquant.
Video by Emily Sanntarsiero