The Meal That Heals


2018 chefs

Kayla May



Executive Pastry Chef | Josephine

Kayla May has made a name for herself creating craveable pastries and desserts inspired by classic Southern recipes and traditions that had, over time, fallen by the wayside. With a solid foundation and understanding of classic pastry techniques, May’s passion is in discovering old recipes that may not have been passed down through the generations and giving them a new and exciting life.

It was a trip to Paris in 2009 that first drew her to baking. Enchanted by the rows of patisseries filled with beautiful pastries and chocolates, May returned home and dropped out of the university she was attending to enroll in the International Culinary Center in New York (formally the French Culinary Institute), where she eventually earned a degree in Classic Pastry Arts. May’s eight-year career in the pastry field has included positions at the Puffy Muffin in Brentwood, Tenn., at DB Bistro Moderne in New York City and as Executive Pastry Chef at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. May now oversees the pastry department of leading Nashville restaurant Josephine as Executive Pastry Chef.

Outside of the restaurants, May is a founding member of the Les Dames Escoffier Nashville chapter and co-owns Matchmaker Chocolates in Madison, Tenn., with her husband and chocolatier Derek May. May is also a new mother, having welcomed daughter Evelyn in June 2017. When she has time for herself, May enjoys reading, watching movies, gardening and spending time with her two dogs, Murdock and Ella.

Teresa Parr