Rebecca Moesinger, Pastry Chef, 45 Surfside, Nantucket, Massachusetts

Award-winning Boston pastry chef Rebecca Moesinger became her family’s dedicated cook when she was in the sixth grade and her mother returned to work after raising eight children. “My mother had to take the 2-10 shift and there was no one to cook dinner so I decided to take on the task,” Rebecca says. She remembers her parents gave her $5 per meal, which was generous at the time. Each night once the dishes were done she says she worked about four hours, but she loved cooking and considers herself lucky to have discovered her passion at such a young age.

“It was scary at first but after a while I was able to get a delicious meal on the table every night. In retrospect I imagine there were some not-so-tasty attempts [but] each night my father thanked me,” she says.

Today, the website of Rebecca’s new bakery and café on Nantucket Island declares that she and her partners take the same care crafting each salad and sandwich as they would cooking for their own families. 45 Surfside serves gourmet breakfast and lunch sandwiches with the finest cheeses, fresh-baked breads and island-grown fruits and vegetables. Examples include prosciutto and ricotta with house-pickled cherry peppers and basil olive oil, or a fried egg sandwich dressed with fresh avocado and tomato, olive oil and cheddar. But it’s the pastries and desserts where customers can expect 45 Surfside to really shine.

After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a degree in hospitality and going to work in a restaurant, Rebecca’s trajectory included two years as garde manger (French “for keeper of the food”) at The Park Plaza and another two years in The Ritz Carlton’s pastry department, where she decided to pursue a career as a pastry chef.

She returned to Massachusetts and opened the celebrated Konditor Meister bakery in Braintree, which she owned and operated for 25 years and where she became regionally famous for custom and special occasion cakes. In 2016, she sold her shares in Konditor Meister to become a pastry instructor at Le Cordon Bleu’s Cambridge location. All the while, she nurtured a dream that she’d one day move to Nantucket, where as a child she spent part of each summer with family friends.

Her location on the bike path outside of Nantucket’s busy downtown appeals to people on their way to the beach or locals taking their kids to and from the nearby schools. Rebecca has been baking with The Perfect Purée since 2000 and keeps a variety of flavors in the freezer so she can fill any custom request. She appreciates them because they’re not too sweet and their vibrant colors complement her desserts. “The flavors are delicious and allow us to create many different flavor profiles that customers love,” she says. Rebecca says she hopes to teach cooking and baking classes on Nantucket with The Perfect Purée, too.