Zoë Kanan grew up in Houston, Texas and is the by-product of a Pitmaster father and vegetarian mother. She discovered baking as a familial neutral territory and her passion was born. After pursuing pastry studies at the International Culinary Center in 2009, Zoë joined the team at Milk Bar as the youngest cook in the kitchen, eventually managing the Weddings and Special Orders Department. She then honed in on her love of bread and natural fermentation under the guidance of master baker Melissa Weller while opening Major Food Groups’s Sadelle’s. Zoë went on to run the bread program at AltaMarea Group before being recommended to join the Happy Cooking family by former boss Christina Tosi.
In early 2018, Zoë joined the Happy Cooking Hospitality team as Head Baker for Simon and The Whale and Studio at the Freehand Hotel where she oversees all pastries, bread, and dessert. Her creations have been praised by Bon Appetit, Eater, New Yorker and The New York Times, including a spotlight in Vogue as one of three women “changing the way we think about bread.” Most recently, Zoë is a James Beard Award semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and a member of Eater’s Young Guns, Class of 2019.