Meet Gretchen Glatte.

An Oregon native, Gretchen began her baking career while living in Taos and needing money for lift tickets. Thankfully she moved back to the Northwest where she baked delicious treats at New Seasons Markets and Wildwood before her friend and former colleague Matthew Busetto asked her to join him at Firehouse. In addition to making the delicious desserts at Firehouse she’s behind the ovens at Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry, which opened in 2010.  Gretchen’s baking style is simple, not fussy. She uses only the freshest local ingredients, and lets the season dictate her menu. Her pastries have a certain nostalgia to them; somehow they just taste like home. Her shop is gorgeous, her pastries are inspired, and her personality is infectious. It’s hard not to like everything she does…

On July 14th, Gretchen Glatte will team up with Matthew Busetto of Firehouse Restaurant and Widmer Brothers Brewing for a truly memorable P&P dinner at Smith Berry Barn. We thought we’d give you a peek into the woman behind the pastries, so we asked Gretchen a few questions about herself. Read below to see her answers (and her secret aspirations of being a French aristocrat…)

1. How did you end up cooking at your present restaurant/kitchen? General slumming in kitchens with crazy male chefs. I seem to never learn.

2. What’s the first food you remember loving as a kid? My mom’s frosted brownies.

3. What edibles are you growing in your own home garden? I grow thyme, rosemary and sorrel. Not even I can kill that stuff!

4. What’s your most trusted piece of kitchen equipment? Why? My hands. Amazing and so trustworthy.

5. What’s your most disturbing guilty pleasure food?  Ruffles chips with Lipton onion soup dip.

6. Most tried and true hangover cure? Michelada! (Tecate, lime, salt, cayenne, ice.)

7. Favorite band/artist to listen to while cooking?  Europe ’72

8. Most disturbing kitchen-related injury…? Forearm electric oven burns. (They always work in a pack of three.)

9. What would you eat for your last supper? My mom’s strawberry pie with a cup of drip coffee.

10. What food/farm-related issue are you most passionate about or gets you really steamed? Our local Woodlawn School Garden cannot get funding, which is ridiculous!

11. What vegetable or fruit deserves more respect/love in your opinion? Rhubarb is the most versatile and underused NW fruit/veggie. (Oh, technically it is a grass I guess!) Nobody seems to care about this simple, sugar lovin, ‘barb! I demand respect for you rhubarb, oh rhubarb!

12. What are you cooking at Plate & Pitchfork? No clue yet. :)

13. Complete this sentence: “If I weren’t a chef….I’d be a French aristocrat.

14. Your favorite condiment? Mustard, it goes with everything.

(Images courtesy of Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry)

Go! Chef Gretchan Glatte joins Chef Matthew Busetto from Firehouse Restaurant for a fabulous farm dinner at Smith Berry Barn. Beer pairings by Widmer Brothers Brewing. 5:00pm Saturday, July 14th. $100 per person. Details and reservations can be found here.