An honors graduate of Harvard College with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics, Joanne left a career as a management consultant to enter the world of professional cooking.
She started as garde-manger cook at Boston’s renowned Biba restaurant, then worked as a pastry cook at Bentonwood Bakery in Newton, and in 1995 was hired as Pastry Chef at Rialto restaurant in Cambridge.
Joanne moved to New York City in 1997 to work in the cake department of the critically acclaimed Payard Patisserie and Bistro. Returning to Boston a year later with dreams of opening up her own pastry shop, she brought her French and American training to Mistral where she was the Pastry Chef until summer of 2000.
In 2000, she opened Flour, a bakery and café, in Boston’s South End. Flour features breakfast pastries, breads, cakes, cookies, and tarts as well as sandwiches, soups, and salads. In 2007 she opened a second branch of Flour in the Fort Point Channel area, in 2010 a third branch in Cambridge near MIT and Central Square, and in 2013 a fourth branch in the Back Bay.
Flour has been featured in Gourmet, Food&Wine, Bon Appetit, the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Lucky Magazine, Inc. Magazine, and Boston Magazine and has received numerous Best of Boston awards. Flour was also featured on Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network in which Joanne’s sticky buns won over Chef Flay’s.
Joanne’s energetic commitment to excellence extends beyond the kitchen. She writes pastry articles and reviews cookbooks for Fine Cooking magazine. She teaches classes and advises pastry cooks both within the bakery and at area cooking schools. She opened a Chinese restaurant called Myers + Chang with her husband Christopher Myers in the South End neighborhood in the fall of 2007. An avid runner, she competed in every Boston Marathon from 1991 – 2006. She is the author two cookbooks: Flour, Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery+Cafe and Flour Too, Indispensible Recipes for the Cafe’s Most Loved Sweets and Savories.
The ideal companion to Flour—Joanne Chang’s beloved first cookbook—Flour, too includes the most-requested savory fare to have made her four cafés Boston’s favorite stops for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here are 100 gratifying recipes for easy at-home eating and entertaining from brunch treats to soups, pizzas, pasta, and, of course, Flour’s famous cakes, tarts, and other sweet goodies. More than 50 glorious color photographs by Michael Harlan Turkell take the viewer inside the warm, cozy cafés; into the night pastry kitchen; and demonstrate the beauty of this delicious food. With a variety of recipes for all skill levels, this mouthwatering collection is a substantial addition to any home cook’s bookshelf.
It’s hard to believe that Flour is Joanne Chang’s first book, because the level of mastery, precision and experience in it make it feel like the work of someone who’s been showing new bakers the light and the way for a very long time. — NPR, Ten Best Books of 2010
Pop Tarts, anyone? Clearly written and beautifully photographed, Flour is a baker’s treat. — Dorie Greenspan