Pangaea: Tell us who you are and where you’re from.
Megan Held: Megan Held, and I’m from Pownal VT
P: How did you end up working at Pangaea?
MH: I started working at Pangaea when I was a senior in high school through [an internship with] the CDC (the Career Development Center).
P: Where did you go after the CDC program?
MH: I went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. I graduated [May 2019] with a baking and pastry degree.
P: What drew you to desserts, to baking and pastries?
MH: I grew up in the kitchen with my mom making desserts for any family function. My favorite thing was to make her chocolate chunk cookies for Christmas every year.
P: What is your favorite dessert to make?
MH: I get that one a lot. It’s hard. I don’t have a one favorite thing that I like making the most. I think the desserts I end up liking the most once they’re done are ones that I feel connected to. Like the first dessert I ever did here was a chocolate peanut butter dessert. It had bananas in it, and those are all things my mom really likes so when I made it, it was like “She’d really like that.”
P: That makes a lot of sense. Almost everyone I’ve interviewed, in regards to the restaurant industry, their favorite things about it are all tied to their past experience with food. What, more importantly, is your favorite dessert to eat?
MH: I like ice cream. It’s nice and simple, it’s in the freezer, when I get home late from work, I have a bowl.
P: What flavor?
MH: Either chocolate chip cookie dough or mint chip.
P: Where do you see your career in the industry taking you in the next 10 years?
MH: My vision is to go work at bakeries because I really do like a bakery setting. That’s more of what I want. And then, I’ve thought about maybe teaching. If I wasn’t baking, I’d be teaching. So I don’t know, maybe teaching baking?
P: So like being in a CDC program maybe? Coming full circle?
P: Would you ever do anything like Cake Wars, or one of those reality tv shows?
MH: No, those seem so stressful. I don’t like the stress of it.
P: Then my last question is one of my go tos. If you knew it was going to be your very last meal, what would you eat?
MH: I would eat, I think Chinese food. Like pork fried rice and sesame chicken. Whenever I’m craving something, it’s Chinese food.
Megan’s last dessert special for Pangaea (pictured above) was a lemon-honey tea cake with peach compote, vanilla ice cream and granola.
Megan is now pursuing her baking career in New Jersey and is sorely missed.