"Let's shake things up!"
Having come from a deeply rooted fruit farming family in Rochester, Chef Celia Cleary of Honeoye Falls has been passionate about the culinary and pastry arts since she was a child. Celia became formally acquainted with the restaurant industry in 2004, where she began working in the front of house. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, where she worked in marketing for 5 years, all the while cultivating her love of All Things Culinary by working in restaurants on the side. It was during this time that she decided to dedicate herself 100% to the culinary arts. So she up and moved to New York City to pursue a career as a pastry chef at the French Culinary Institute.
Upon graduating, she began working as head baker and front of house manager at SCRATCHbread in Bedstuy under Matthew Tilden. She then moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and was a key contributor to the opening of the modern Mexican farm-to-table restaurant, Vida Cantina, under Jed Bednarski. Aside from being pastry chef, she was also immersed in the craft cocktail scene by tending bar under General Manager Molly Woodhouse.
With a revived passion for fresh and local farm ingredients, Celia returned to upstate New York with her boyfriend to open an organic farm in Victor, New York, called Victory Farms. They devoted a year to learning farming techniques, exploring a wide variety of produce, and understanding what it takes to grow these crops most successfully.
In the winter she traveled to St. John, USVI, where she worked at Zozo’s Ristorante. She realized that after gaining her knowledge of food and how it grows, that her true passion was still in cooking and the restaurant industry. Celia has since joined the Honeoye Falls Distillery where she uses her experiences in leading both the kitchen and bar program.