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Art & Life with Kiki Canuto

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiki Canuto.

Kiki, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
My story started itself. I never planned on becoming a chef seeing that I grew up in a very traditional household. My parents wanted me and my siblings to take on professions that would provide us security and stability–being a chef was not an option. But somehow the cooking bug was bred into me.

Coming home to our empty kitchen while I was in middle school was heaven for me. I’d bake endless amounts of cakes, brownies, cookies, and even make myself dinner alongside Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals. Pretending I was on my own show, I’d perform like I was being watched by a full audience, feeding off their energy and making funny jokes expecting a response that never came. But after my middle and high school years, I never saw cooking as a profession. No one ever told me to go pursue it as a “real thing,” so I just followed suit to what my siblings did and headed straight for college.

Unlike any of them, I had absolutely no clue what I was doing in college. What did I want to major in? What was my purpose here? Is life just about getting good grades? I was GREAT at doing that but somehow I never felt fulfilled by it. Hidden amongst my college experience was one place where I felt at home: Flour Bakery + Cafe. It’s Boston’s fastest growing bakeries owned by the lovely Joanne Chang. Working for her in the times where Flour was still a baby was so rewarding and thrilling. I got to see new pastries being made day in and day out and met some extraordinary people.

This job was everything but a job. Flour played a huge role in giving me insight on the thing I love the most, food. So after finishing up my college degree, Spanish and Psychology is what I majored in, I turned my eye to food. On all of my study abroad trips, I focused on learning new ingredients and understanding how they were made, experimenting with them back home in my own kitchen. I couldn’t get enough of food. Finally, a year after graduating, my best friend, China Fox, suggested that I do the whole cooking thing for real. And so I did. Now I cook professionally for private clients and exclusive events, and I’m so fulfilled.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a private chef that cooks with a whole lot of love. I thoroughly enjoy getting people to love foods they used to dislike their whole lives. Alongside that, I focus on putting a healthy spin on classic dishes while inventing original recipes in the moment. Everything sparks inspiration for me and I want to share what I have to offer with the world. My main message is to get people to do what makes them feel alive. The biggest reason as to why I cook so frequently and NEVER tire of it is because it makes me feel alive, and what a great feeling that is. I believe that if people see what makes me feel so fired up each and every day, they might get themselves one step closer to doing the thing they WANT to be doing, instead of the things they SHOULD be doing.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
My definition of success is this: If what you’re doing makes you feel alive, if it makes you feel like you’re flying, then you have found your success. Success is a by-product of doing all of the things that make you feel this way; it is not the end goal. Strive for experiences, not success. They’ll remind you every time that life and all of our journeys are about the steps we take and not crossing the finish line.

To be successful, you must first live as your 100% authentic and unapologetic self. Everything else after that are extra goodies 🙂 .

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
First and foremost, the most important part of my work is to add value to others and make them excited with any of my food experiences. Whether it’s through catering your next special event, booking a cooking workshop, or attending one of my community dinner parties, you can support what I love to do! Stay up to date with my current posts on social media, too–I’m always whipping up something new 🙂

P.S. My homemade granola is super addicting, yummy, and it’s vegan! Send me a message on IG to order your bag today!

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Photo: Lucas Blanc, 91 on the run, Styling: Paulian Read

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