Pastry Arts Instructor
Coming from a family where both parents cooked, Chef Kam Golightly developed an appreciation for cooking at a young age and it was in her sophomore year of high school that she realized she could make a living out of her passion. Pursuing this idea, Chef Kam studied the culinary arts and minored in business at Drexel University in Philadelphia. After her studies, she traveled Europe, taking the opportunity to stage at various bakeries. When she returned to the US, Chef Kam took on her first full-time position at Redd in Yountville (a 1 star Michelin property) and worked under Nicole Plue, a 2010 James Beard winner. In 2011, Chef Kam became Redd’s Executive Pastry Chef and was responsible for not only onsite pastry production but also offsite accounts such as the Pebble Beach Food and Wine Events and Robert Mondavi Vineyards. Receiving recognition for her hard work, Chef Kam was nominated for best new pastry chef with Food & Wine Magazine in 2012.
Transitioning to the North Bay Area in 2013, Chef Kam accepted an Executive Pastry Chef position at Oliveto, a farm-to-table restaurant, and cafe in Oakland. It was here that she supported the Community Grain project, focusing on whole heirloom grain breads and pastries. She notes that living in California leaves no room for excuses when it comes to being conscious of seasonality and sustainability. Two years later, Chef Kam took on an Executive position at the Firehouse restaurant in Sacramento. Working under the Harvego restaurant group, Chef Kam consulted on three different locations.
Having experienced many avenues of the pastry arts world, from small breakfast cafes in London to Michelin star restaurants in California, Chef Kam has decided to share her knowledge with students at the ICC. A running theme throughout her craft is a sense of nostalgia. She explains, “I like to create dishes where, when someone puts it in their mouth, it transports them back in time”. What makes her stand out as a Pastry Chef turned Instructor is the ability to transform something well known and comfortable and give it a fine-dining twist.