Kristen Murray is getting ready to embark on another journey. This month she is leaving her post as pastry chef at Northwest Portland’s Paley’s Place, inspired by the idea of finding a location for her own spot. Four years ago, she agreed to unroot her entire life on the East Coast and move to Portland when she was made an offer she couldn’t refuse. When the offer didn’t quite pan out as expected, Murray was determined to find other ways to infiltrate Portland’s vibrant food scene. She quickly gained a reputation for being one of the city’s best and innovative pastry chefs, gaining critical acclaim at Lucier, DOC, Fenouil, and eventually Paley’s Place. Fortunately for us, four years living in the Pacific Northwest is all it took to convince this lady she has found home and the perfect place to fulfill a lifetime dream. She hopes to find a location by fall. In the meantime she remains acting Pastry Consultant for little t bakery, Instructor at The Chefs Studio, and celebrated Plate & Pitchfork Chef.

Where is your favorite place in Oregon?

It is a solid split between the wonder of the gorge & the striking craggy Oregon coast.

My morning breakfast consists of…

Black tea with milk (always!), steel cut oats with honey roasted fruit or a banana with almond butter, honey & bee pollen.

What’s the last great book you shared with a friend?

Notebooks of Michel Bras: Desserts

Favorite food city to visit?

Bordeaux, France

In my dream garden you would find the following growing…

Kumquats, figs, sweet peas, strawberries, raspberries, Meyer lemons, myrtle & eucalyptus.

My signature dish is…

Black Pepper Cheesecake

Celebrity closet would you like to raid?

Angelina Jolie

Favorite band/artist to listen to in the kitchen?

Carla Bruni or Paris Combo

Person who has most influenced your style and approach to food?

My Aunt Crys, Alain Rondelli & Jean-Louis Palladin

Why Plate & Pitchfork/ForkLift?

It is a wonderful opportunity to connect chefs & farmers to the community. It is a very special organization and it is an honor to be  part of it!

This month’s ForkLift event features Kristen D. Murray and Robert Reynolds as they cook and discuss menu construct, focusing on seasonal inspiration. This three course dinner includes wine pairings, a new bag of tools for your next dinner and a few treats from the kitchen. Event takes place Saturday, March 24th at 5pm. $60 per person. Advance reservations required. Visit for details and reservations. You can also catch Murray in action during the Plate & Pitchfork summer season when she teams up with Scott Ketterman (Crown Paella) and Gregory Gourdet (Departure) Sunday, July 22nd. More details here.