Chef Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon - Biography

Orlando, FL

July 2013

Iowa Native Kathleen Blake started cooking at an early age in her grandmother’s kitchen where she helped prepare Sunday suppers with her family. Blake worked in restaurants during high school and moved to San Francisco to attend the Community College of San Francisco’s Apprenticeship Program.

She soon landed a position at Square One where her mentor, Joyce Goldstein, taught her the importance of focusing on quality ingredients and building personal relationships with purveyors. Next she accepted a position in Pittsburgh under the guidance of Drew Nieporent. Through a Women Chefs and Restaurateurs scholarship, Blake became chef de cuisine at Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C., where she continued to fine tune her approach to cooking.

In 2003, she took a job as chef de cuisine at Melissa Kelly’s Primo in Orlando at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. Blake began working with local farmers and building relationships with small purveyors. This led her to opening her own restaurants The Rusty Spoon and Pine22 where she continues to represent local and sustainable cooking.