In March, Swift House Inn hired a pastry chef named Catharine Noel. With her years of culinary experience and a warm, friendly personality, she has immediately become a valued part of our team.
Catharine grew up in the Bronx, where she first found culinary inspiration in the aromas of the bustling city environment. She worked as a counselor for 17 years, but eventually decided to switch career paths and embrace her culinary side. Her chef career started at Lucia’s Restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she worked as a breakfast and pastry chef.
She acquired her degree in Culinary Arts from Hennepin Technical College, where she double-majored in Foundations and Pastries. Though she now specializes in pastries, Catharine loves all cooking, which is why she decided to double-major and hone her chef skills across the board.
After Lucia’s, she became an instructor of Foundations and Pastries at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Minneapolis. Catharine decided to buy her own farm in Wisconsin and used it to continue teaching. The farm, called “The Roost,” became a learning center out of which she taught programs on farm-to-table practices. Eventually, she built a pizza oven and commercial kitchen and ran a pizza business at the farm as well.
Catharine decided to retire to Maine after many years in the Midwest. She wanted to live back on the East Coast, closer to friends and family. After a few years in Maine, she moved to Vermont, and in 2022 found us here at Swift House!
She currently lives with her dog Daphne, her cats Scarlatti and Fanny, and her chickens. When asked what her favorite pastry is, she took time to think and ultimately settled on a good croissant. She loves how the buttery, flaky layers give croissants a unique complexity. Her father is from the Virgin Islands, so she tends to gravitate towards Caribbean spices and loves to make stews. However, she doesn’t have a favorite cuisine–she loves to taste and cook everything.
We’re thrilled to have Catharine with us here. She loves to experiment with her pastries and has brought a newness to Swift House with her fresh flavors and creations. Her vegan and gluten-free recipes are just as delicious as her buttery croissants! Next time you’re staying with us, take some extra time to savor her lovingly-made treats. We think you’ll love her pastries as much as we do.