Three words we use to describe Kristina, honest, ambitious, and fun-loving!
Her favorite quote is, “When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. Some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree, and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.” - Ram Dass.
Need we say more? Yes, because there is so much amazingness about Kristina we’d love to share with the world.
Kristina was born and raised in Nyack, New York. She graduated culinary school with a degree from The CIA Hyde Park and then moved to NYC. Kristina spent a significant amount of time in NYC working at places like Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park before moving to San Francisco. She then moved to San Francisco, where she taught herself how to surf and fell in love with the craft. It’s become her favorite personal passion, along with other nature-oriented things and, of course, cooking and baking with friends and loved ones.
In her professional passions, she is happiest when baking bread, making and eating ice cream, and learning and testing new techniques within all realms of baking and pastry. She has gotten quite good at developing and perfecting new recipes. If Kristina were not a Pastry Chef, she jokingly says she’d be a professional surfer. Her backup plan, open a yoga & surf cafe with excellent classes, storage for your board, a place to change with a post-surf shower, a counter to grab a perfect cup of coffee, and a delicious pastry.
Kristina admires Chef Christina Tosi very much. It may seem cliché since Milk Bar is such a massive company. Still, Kristina sees Tosi as a powerhouse who created her entire brand by making things she loves to eat! Kristina’s proudest professional accomplishment thus far has been running the pastry program at Liholiho. She fell in love with all the people Jeff, Ravi, and Nana had brought together. She feels lucky to be part of a community that genuinely cares about their restaurant family's well-being, products, and the industry. She enjoys being challenged to develop new dishes and pushing boundaries for herself.
Something Kristina is surprisingly good at is dancing, well, maybe she’s not good at it, but she loves dancing. On her day off, if she’s not dancing, you will find her hiking, practicing yoga, and surfing. Sometimes she partakes in all four activities in just one single day.
Suppose Kristina could have dinner with anyone, past or present. She’d choose; Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nelson Mandela, and her Grandmother, whom she called Nanny. RBG because she’d love to hear her stories of overcoming and fighting for gender equality and civil rights. Nelson Mandela, because she was born on his inauguration day and has consistently been blown away by how he dedicated his life to racial equality. He overcame adversity becoming the country’s first black head of state. She chose her Nanny because she passed away when Kristina was only two. Nanny was an incredible cook and loved baking. When Nanny passed, she left all her recipe cards, which sparked Kristina’s interest in baking. Kristina wishes she could have gotten to know her Grandmother. She has so many questions she’d like to ask her.
Suppose Kristina were ever to leave San Francisco. She might live in Mexico, Thailand, Japan, France, Italy, Norway, Hawaii, or Costa Rica. She loves exploring different cultures and their food and surf scenes. Kristina loves eating tacos, drinking mezcal, and soaking up all the sun!
We end with one of Kristina’s most valued and respected qualities. She deeply cares for the environment and has vowed to keep working towards personal goals to improve our world. She’d like to see governments worldwide unite to enact tangible solutions for global warming, deforestation, ocean acidification, and pollution. Kristina is abhorrently against racism and fights against it any chance she can. She’d like to see an end to systemic racism where people can achieve their highest potential without being hampered by harmful racist policies, views, and ideas.