Founder, Owner, and Chef
“A whisk in one hand and a ladle in the other”
According to Anne’s youngest daughter Lyndsey, her mother was “born with a whisk in one hand and a ladle in the other”. Although this may not be true it reveals two essential truths about Anne. First, Anne’s love for the art and craft of baking, and second (and most important to all of us) all the amazing pastries, desserts, ice creams, sorbets, breads, cakes and pies she creates for us to eat.
The food tradition runs deep in Anne’s family. Born in Portland, Oregon and raised from the age of two in Marin County, she describes her parents and grandparents as “early foodies”. “My grandmother was raised on a farm in Sweet Home, Oregon and seasonal freshness and connection to the local growers, culture and products was never far from our consciousness.”
Something in the Air
A family of foodies combined with the dynamic and emergent food traditions of the San Francisco Bay Area pulled Anne irresistibly and naturally to food. She and her sisters gravitated to Marin coffee houses decades before the concept ever occurred to most Americans. Her family of foodies picnicked, ate, and hiked in wine country years before it became trendy, and frequent trips San Francisco to experience places like China Town and the Dragon Festival were all normal parts of her early experience.
Anne even recalls being jealous when other children had sliced American cheese and Kraft Macaroni while she was being encouraged to slice her own Tillamook cheese from Oregon and wait for the fresh pasta, raviolis and pesto her father would pick up in North Beach on his way home from his sales job across the Bay.
“Growing up, I also read cookbooks like other kids might read novels. Then I’d try the recipes or throw thematic parties based on what I’d learned. My technique was non-existent and I frequently had no point of reference for how things should taste.
Her first real success came when she was 14 on her parents’ 25th wedding anniversary. For the party Anne decided to make profiteroles. The came out perfectly and stunned and awed everyone at the party.
Anne was hooked!
“I don’t bake nearly as well as that dear”
Anne began her professional food career at LoCoco’s Pizzeria, owned by two brothers from Palermo. “It was a great, fast paced, place to begin working…although we were never allowed near the pizza dough because it was a family trade secret”
After LoCoco’s Anne followed her sister, respected Chef Wendy Little, to the San Ysidro Ranch where Anne eventually became the head Pastry Chef. People like Julia Child were quick to notice her talents inviting her to events, encouraging her career and keeping tabs on her work.
“Once after having one of my pastries, Julia asked who taught me to bake so well? I told her (Julia’s book, ‘The Art of French Cuisine’ was like a bible to me) she did, to which she replied ‘I don’t bake nearly as well as that dear.’”
Anne was then recruited to Norbert’s where she assumed the Pastry Chef position for all three of Norbert’s restaurants, Norbert’s, Brigitte’s and Oysters. “Norbert is a Master Chef and was at the leading edge of the nouvelle cuisine movement at the time. He helped me evolve my craft to new levels.”
One of the many things Norbert taught Anne is today a Ketchum Grill favorite. “The Chocolate Chi-Chi. The chocolate shell filled with White & Dark Chocolate Mousse was Norbert’s invention. He made me promise to never share that recipe until I owned my own place.” The Chi-Chi along with the crème brulee have been on the menu since the Grill opened 17 years ago.
From the Trail to the Kitchen
After Anne and Scott returned from eating and tasting their way through Europe Anne took a job at Gerhard’s Bakery in Sausalito. Gerhard’s was a high-volume commercial bakery supplying desserts and breads to the finest restaurants and caterers in the San Francisco Bay Area. A year later they moved to Sun Valley with their newborn child, Adelaide, in tow and Anne became the Pastry Chef at Chez Michael.
Then, 17 years ago Anne and Scott (along with partner Kevin Boss) started the Ketchum Grill. “The Grill has become more than a restaurant. For us it is family and home. I have vivid memories of my children growing up here, in this place and within this community. It continues to be a gratifying and rewarding journey”
Whether you’re savoring Anne’s autumn desserts infused with Emmett, Idaho heirloom pears and apples, cracking through the sweet shell of a chi-chi or crème brulee, tasting the seasonal sorbets and fruits, or swiping soft butter over fresh daily baked bread you sense in every bite what makes Anne’s baking and craft so magical.
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Every baker has his or her secret recipes and techniques. It is these secrets that make their craft an Art. These mysteries can set our mouths to watering or miraculously find us ‘just a little more room’ even when we are sure we are already stuffed from dinner.
One of Anne’s most well guarded secret recipes is for Regan Rolls. This recipe was passed down from her grandmother. “She made them every Thanksgiving. I still use the same recipe to this day. Scott and my girls get ravenous for them just like I used to. To me that is baking and that is the magic of food and tradition.”