Rising Star Pastry Chef Melissa Denmark of Gracie's - Biography

Providence, RI

March 2014

Pre-teens are generally busier memorizing dance moves or morphing social dynamics, but Melissa Denmark somehow found time to memorize chocolate chip cookie recipes. An early and avid baker, Denmark was constantly reading cookbooks and applying what she learned in the kitchen. And with her father’s encouragement, she landed in a mentorship program at a high-end French restaurant during her final year of high school, leading to Johnson & Wales, where she graduated summa cum laude, and later work at The Ritz-Carlton in Florida.

From there, Denmark went on to work with a cake decorator in Maryland and for Bobolink Dairy Farm and Bakeyard in New Jersey. There she came to appreciate the importance of sustainability and using farm-raised foods, two themes of great importance at her current post at Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery in Providence. An American Culinary Federation Certified Culinarian, Denmark earned a 2014 StarChefs Rising Star Pastry Chef Award for her work at Gracie's and was also named one of Food & Wine’s “50 Best New Pastry Chefs” in the country.