Hi! I’m Kaitlyn Johnson, the founder and head chef at ZenDough Bakery. I began cooking when I was six years old. When other kids were out riding their bicycles or playing video games, I was in the kitchen practicing new recipes from my Mickey Mouse cookbook. Eventually, I taught myself to make more and more complex dishes, like pâte à choux and homemade butternut squash agnolotti with guanciale. That passion has followed me throughout my 15+ years as a professional chef. After culinary school, I worked as a catering chef, a corporate chef, a cake designer, and a pastry chef. My job has led me from San Diego to Los Angeles, to San Francisco, and now to Boston. My culinary philosophy is derived from all aspects of the culinary world. But nothing gives me more joy than cooking for my friends and family, and enjoying the food in their company. 

Freeport, Brunswick, Portland, Yarmouth , Maine

I love baking because it gives me infinite opportunities to be creatively expressive as well as constantly challenged. The industry is always expanding and changing, and there is always something new to learn. When writing a recipe, I try to apply multiple techniques and flavor profiles while also giving thought to the aesthetic of the dish. I try to hit it all: salty, sweet, spicy, acidic; contrasting textures and colors; seasonality… even in sweet dishes! After that, it’s just trial and error (albeit a very delicious one!) until I find the perfect recipe. But because I always want to challenge myself, my “signature” dishes are anything but final; to my mind, there is always room for improvement.


I frequently get asked why I chose to open a bakery with items that feature CBD. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a chef, specifically a baker. Bakers give out happiness for a living. I dare you to not smile after eating a tasty cookie or a piece of decadent chocolate cake. So why not add a little bit more of that “feel good” energy? CBD (Cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating hemp extract that is credited with holistically helping treat a variety of medical concerns — everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. Not only do you get a delicious treat when you buy one of my creations, but you may also sleep a little better or have a little more piece of mind too!

Thank you for visiting ZenDough Bakery! If you have any questions, recipe ideas, comments, or even just want to talk about delicious food, I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me here.

– Chef Kaitlyn Johnson