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 personal chef and meal prep services.
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.
I chose to build The Farmstead Table because it lets me do what I love most: cook food to make people’s lives easier.
I truly care about my clients and I’m invested in their health and happiness.
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.
My Culinary Approach
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). It’s important to me to advocate for sustainability and cooking with organic products whenever possible.
I am also a big nerd when it comes to learning to cook diverse ethnic cuisines — I’ll never get tired of learning to make new kinds of curries, for example! My experience with worldwide cuisines and spices allows me to play with different flavors and techniques. After that, it’s just (delicious!) trial and error 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.
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.
- Kaitlyn Johnson, Owner + Chef