Rising Star Pastry Chef Kayla Swartout’s love of desserts began in on the streets of Paris. While spending a year traveling abroad, Swartout and her sister took a train to Paris for the weekend. Together, they had planned to see the city’s famous sites, but instead, her sister spent most of their trip having to pull Swartout away from the delicacies lining shop windows. Swartout was transfixed.
She was also highly motivated. Just a few months after coming back from Paris, Swartout enrolled in The French Culinary Institute in New York City, embarking on the coursework that would become her career. While studying, she ate and drank her way through the city, and also spent time honing her skill sets at DB Bistro Moderne, alongside 2013 New York Rising Star Pastry Chef Ashley Brauze.
From the City of Lights to the City That Never Sleeps to Music City, Swartout’s pastry romance endures at Nashville’s The Hermitage Hotel, where she works as executive pastry chef. It’s there that she translates Southern ingredients into elegant, refined desserts—worthy of windows in a Parisian patisserie.