Rising Star Pastry Chef Sophie Gees of Oleana - Biography

Cambridge, MA

June 2020

Raised in Natick, Massachusetts, Sophie Gees grew to love food and especially baking. Before studying sociology at nearby Smith College, she spent a summer working at Rosie’s Bakery in Wellesley. As soon as she earned her degree, Gees moved to New York City to pursue a career in cooking. In 2007, she became a pastry  prep cook at fine-dining vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine, and, within a few months, was promoted to pastry sous chef. After two and a half years, Gees left the mainland for Maui, where she made sandwiches at 808 Deli along the beach. 

Gees returned to Massachusetts to receive her masters in gastronomy from Boston University. Meanwhile, she worked as a server and bartender at Deep Ellum and Lone Star Taco Bar. Missing the kitchen, Gees went on to work at Christy Timon’s landmark Clear Flour Bread & Bakery in Brookline, where she, “learned a hell of a lot!!” After steeping in European pastry for three years, Gees applied to be a pastry assistant at James Beard Award-winning Chef Ana Sortun’s Middleastern landmark restaurant, Oleana. Five months later, Gees was hired as pastry chef de cuisine. Under the mentorship of James Beard Award-nominated Pastry Chef Maura Kilpatrick, and with a deep knowledge of Turkish flavors, Gees has created a colorful menu embellishing Sortun and Kilpatrick’s legacy.