Pastry Chef Catherine Schimenti of Michael Mina - Biography

San Francisco, CA

April 2010

Catherine Schimenti began cooking professionally when she was in her teens, with small jobs in restaurant kitchens. Her teacher suggested that she pursue a culinary career, and in 1998, she enrolled at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. After graduating, she started her pastry career working at Piping Rock Country Club on Long Island, where she first discovered her love of baking. Schimenti continued an extended pastry arts program while working full time at Empire Restaurant, where she learned how to prepare rustic Italian desserts. In 2000, she externed at Balthazar in New York City, and stayed on to master traditional French pastries, breads and desserts. She would go on to Gramercy Tavern to assist Pastry Chef Claudia Fleming, before traveling in Europe. When she returned, she was part of the opening team at Per Se, her understanding of both classical and modern dessert styles grew, working alongside Pastry Chef Sébastien Rouxel, before heading the pastry departments at Craftsteak in New York and Craft Los Angeles. Schimenti and her boyfriend Chef Matthew Accarrino of SPQR made the decision to move to San Francisco because of the bountiful produce. Schimenti has since joined the team at Michael Mina Restaurant, as executive pastry chef. She focuses on a seasonal palate with a market driven menu. Schimenti’s desserts are based off of classical techniques with a refined approach and a modern touch to familiar flavors.