Cat Grimley

Fabulous People: Cat Grimsley

Cat Grimsley is the pastry chef at The Hotel at Kirkwood, a luxury teaching hotel that serves as an immersive learning environment for students in Kirkwood’s Hospitality Arts program. “I oversee and participate in the production of all the baked goods and sweet treats for our banquet events, as well as our restaurant.” Learn about Cat Grimsley…

Hometown: Sioux City

First job: Making pizzas

Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: Eating at local restaurants, playing video games, arts and crafts.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: I was the pastry chef at the Bread Garden Market in 2018 when they got the contract to take over four of the café outlets at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. I had to help oversee and execute a large production expansion for the bakery facility. Over the course of a few months, we more than tripled the volume of pastries being produced daily and tackled the logistics of dealing with five outlets instead of one.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Myself. I think a lot of folks in this industry struggle with feelings of self-doubt or imposter syndrome, and I’m definitely one of them. It takes a lot of hard work to ignore that little voice in your head that says you’re not good enough, even when you’re surrounded by evidence that says otherwise.

Someone who inspires you and why: I can’t pick just one person, so everyone who works in the food industry, or even the entire hospitality industry. Choosing this industry generally means long days, weird hours and a lot of hard work, yet so many of us choose to stay, even when other opportunities arise.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Have passion and take pride in what you do, but also take care of yourself. It’s incredibly easy to get burnt out in this industry.

Favorite quote: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started”

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I make a lot of pretty pessimistic jokes, but secretly I’m an optimist at heart.

What makes someone fabulous: Being genuinely yourself.

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