Pastry Chef Lisa White of Domenica - Biography

New Orleans, LA

December 2011

Lisa White's final food awakening happened on a personal pilgrimage in France. In March 2008, while walking the isolated trails of Camino de Compostela, she smelled and ate the amazing village baked goods—foods that reawakened her passion for baking. When she returned to the States, she made the decision to go to culinary school in her late 30s and enrolled in the accelerated Baking and Pastry program at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone.

While attending the program, she worked at the Wine Spectator restaurant, baking bread at night. After leaving the CIA, she landed a position as a pastry cook with Della Fattoria in Petaluma, California. It was there that she worked with Kathleen Weber, the founder and owner, and White's nascent passion for farm-to-table cooking grew. In April 2009, she decided to move to New Orleans. She had worked as a Red Cross Volunteer after Hurricane Katrina and thought at the time that she would never move back; somehow it called her.

After arriving in New Orleans, White remembered hearing about a chef who had started kitchens in parking lots to feed the people after Katrina, and she decided that was the kind of chef she wanted to work for. That chef was Josh Besh, and White quickly earned a pastry cook position at his Restaurant August. From there she became part of the opening team at Domenica, where she's expanded into many areas from bread production and pastries to house-made liqueurs and pickling.