Hello, I’m Kaitlyn! I am a professional chef and the owner of The Farmstead Table. The Farmstead Table is a culinary hub specializing in culinary consulting, catering, personal chef services, cake design, recipe development, and culinary education.
I began cooking when I was six years old. When other kids were out riding their bicycles or playing video games, I was in the kitchen practicing new recipes from my Mickey Mouse cookbook. Eventually, I taught myself to make more and more complex dishes, like pâte à choux and homemade butternut squash agnolotti with guanciale. That passion has followed me throughout my 15+ years as a professional chef.
After culinary school, I worked as a catering chef, a corporate chef, a cake designer, and a pastry chef. My job has led me from San Diego to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and now to Portland, Maine. My culinary philosophy is derived from all aspects of the culinary world. But nothing gives me more joy than cooking for my friends and family, and enjoying the food in their company.
I love cooking because it gives me infinite opportunities to be creatively expressive as well as constantly challenged. “Food” is always expanding and changing, and there is always something new to learn. When writing a recipe, I try to apply multiple techniques and flavor profiles while also giving thought to the aesthetic of the dish. I try to hit it all: salty, sweet, spicy, acidic; contrasting textures and colors; seasonality; different methods (braised, sous vide, fried). I am also a big advocate for sustainability and cooking with organic products whenever possible. I am also a big nerd when it comes to ethnic cuisines. My extensive knowledge in most ethnic cuisines allows me to play with different flavors and techniques. After that, it’s just trial and error (albeit a very delicious one!) until I find the perfect recipe. But because I always want to challenge myself, my “signature” dishes are anything but final; to my mind, there is always room for improvement.
The Farmstead Table
My approach to cooking comes inherently from the earth. Farm-to-table cuisine embraces local, sustainable agriculture as the root of food that is more flavorful, nutrient-rich, and socially conscious. At the center of this movement is the farmstead: the farm land and all of its buildings: the barn, homestead, root cellar, and silo. And at the true heart of the farm is the kitchen table, where bread is broken and food is shared. Eating is a social and cultural activity; it is when families come together and talk about their day, when they reconnect with each other over a warm meal, made with food grown with care and cooked with love. This is the heart of my passion for cooking.
Thank you for visiting The Farmstead Table! If you have any questions, recipe ideas, or just want to talk about delicious food, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me here or connect with me on Facebook and Instagram.
– Kaitlyn Johnson, Owner + Chef