Laura Pyles grew up in a family that loves to cook and eat, but didn’t imagine a career in food until college, when she worked as a cook while attending the University of Washington. After graduation, she put her psychology degree on the shelf and enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in California’s Napa Valley. She worked in restaurants in California and South Carolina before returning to her hometown of Seattle. And while she’s best known as a pastry chef — she was named “Best New Pastry Chef on the West Coast” by Food & Wine — she’s more passionate about the savory side of the kitchen. Like many chefs, she was surprised to discover that she had a talent for teaching — and that’s how she set off on the path that ultimately led to joining the Pantry family.