We hope you will join us in welcoming Jason Sturdivant, the latest addition to our team at Natalie’s.
Jason earned his Baking and Pastry Arts A.A.S Degree at Wake Technical Community College, and most recently moved from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. He worked for three years at Heron’s Restaurant at The Umstead Hotel & Spa, and then moved on to the One Michelin Starred WD-50 in NY, New York before his latest job at L’Auberge Provencale in Virginia.
Q. What was the most intriguing dessert you cooked while working in New York at WD-50? I cooked an aerated yuzu ice cream. It’s vacuum sealed and makes a kind of cold, citrus marshmallow.
Q. What did you enjoy most about working at Herons at The Umstead Hotel & Spa? I got to work with the top of the line products, the best chefs in the country and I always had the best equipment.
Q. You have worked in quite a few different areas, from New York to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia … what brought you to Camden, Maine? I’ve been working my way up to New England for quite some time. I liked what the Camden Harbour Inn was doing, and thought I would be a good fit. I really love the weather; I like seasons, snow. I used to snowboard a little, but really my son hasn’t had a chance to play in the snow. He’s 5 years old.
Q. What ingredients from Maine are you most excited about using in your desserts? I hear that we have some great blueberries, and I love using blueberries. Late summer we will add a new dessert using them …something great. I’ll make sure, because people in Maine know their blueberries.
Q. Do you have a favorite dessert? If so, what is it? I like a simple dessert- crème brulée, if it’s done well, or vanilla ice cream.
Q. When did you decide to become a pastry chef and what in particular appealed to you about becoming a pastry chef? Five years ago I was an executive savory chef, and the place went belly up. The only job I could find was as a pastry chef, and I fell in love with it. I love the exactness of it- knowing what needs to go on the plate and having the artistic ability to do so- you can go crazier with desserts than you can with savory food.
Q. What excites you most about the current dessert menu at Natalie’s? I’m able to step outside the box with my flavors at Natalie’s, and I like to be very adventurous. Being able to make sweet pea ice cream and put olives on desserts…and people love it. There are a lot of adventurous eaters in Maine, which is a breath of fresh air.
For a look at some of the new desserts on our menu, stop by or look online.