Executive Pastry Chef Elena Palma
As an Imperial Beach native, Elena graduated from Mar Vista High School in 2001 and attended Southwestern College. Shortly after, her sister moved to Europe with her husband who was stationed in Hanau, Germany. During her years there she was taken away with the European pastries and culinary. When it was time to come back to the States, Elena enrolled at Grossmont College for the Baking and Pastry Culinary Arts Program. In 2008 Elena completed her general studies as well as the Baking and Culinary Associates Degree. Her first culinary job was at Jake's La Jolla, where she worked under Pastry Chef Jack Fisher before moving on to the Del Mar Marriott restaurant of Arterra. In 2010 Elena was hired at the well-known Lodge at Torrey Pines, where she spent 6 years, 3 as the assistant pastry chef until she rose to the prestigious level of Executive Pastry Chef. After taking a year off for travel, baking at home for friends and family, and some much needed respite, Elena was ready to step back into the baking world. She stumbled upon a local ad for head baker at the iconic Clayton’s Coffeeshop and it was a match made in heaven. After 3 years with the company, the decision was clear to take a confident leap of faith with Elena and expand into Clayton’s bakery & bistro. Elena would naturally assume the Executive Pastry Chef position, well earned in the years of developing her craft with discipline and tremendous talent. Her repertoire of creative and delicious pastry items have been compared to “the best patisseries” across Europe. Elena puts “the bakery” in Clayton’s bakery & bistro. We are so very proud to have her expertise with us!