The Culinary Journey of Krista Kern Desjarlais: Unfolding The Story Behind Her Departure from The Lost Kitchen


In the world of culinary arts, the name Krista Kern Desjarlais rings a bell as a venerated chef with a strong connection to The Lost Kitchen, a restaurant renowned for its local and seasonal Maine dishes. However, Krista’s journey took an unexpected turn when she decided to part ways with the esteemed dining establishment. This article will delve deep into this culinary journey, shedding light on her reasons for leaving and her subsequent success.

Who is Krista Kern Desjarlais?

Krista Kern Desjarlais is a highly respected chef hailing from the picturesque state of Maine. She has earned her reputation through her illustrious stint at The Lost Kitchen, among other notable establishments. Krista is known for her commitment to local, seasonal ingredients and her unwavering support for local farmers.

Moreover, Krista’s innovative culinary approach has played a pivotal role in transforming her own establishment, Krista’s Restaurant, by introducing new menu items and extensively incorporating local produce and meats.

Krista’s Background and Early Career

Born and raised in North Dakota, Krista’s connection with nature began in her childhood, when she attended a Girl Scout camp in Minnesota. She later moved away from Maine to pursue higher education at Syracuse University and the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she studied creative writing and geography. Upon graduation, she was drawn back to her home state of Maine, a place that would later become the foundation of her culinary journey.

Krista’s Involvement with The Lost Kitchen

Krista’s initial involvement with The Lost Kitchen began as a line cook under the guidance of Erin French. As part of the all-women team, she was not just confined to the kitchen but also wore multiple hats, including servers, a wine shop manager, among other roles.

Krista’s commitment to promoting local produce was evident in her role as the restaurant’s local produce provider. Her first business transaction with Erin French involved selling fresh tomatoes when the restaurant was still based in Belfast.

Reasons for Krista Leaving The Lost Kitchen

Desire for a Different Culinary Direction

Krista’s departure from The Lost Kitchen may have been driven by her desire to pursue a different culinary vision or focus that didn’t align with Erin French’s leadership. She may have felt constrained in her creative expression and yearned to branch out on her own.

Seeking a Less Intense Work Environment

The high-pressure, intense kitchen environment at The Lost Kitchen is no secret. Krista may have sought to escape from the demanding schedule and workload of a fine dining restaurant in quest for a more balanced work-life situation.

Pursuing Other Opportunities

The culinary world is a vast field with endless opportunities. Krista may have been presented with an exciting opportunity at another restaurant or culinary venture that she couldn’t pass up. She might also have wanted to devote more time to her own restaurant, Krista’s Restaurant, and elevate it to new heights, or perhaps, explore different aspects of the food industry, such as food writing, consulting, or teaching.

Personal Reasons

Personal circumstances, such as family obligations, health concerns, or a desire for a change of scenery, may have also factored into Krista’s decision to leave The Lost Kitchen. She may have felt that it was the right time to embrace new challenges in her life and career.

Krista’s Success After Leaving The Lost Kitchen

Krista’s departure from The Lost Kitchen marked the beginning of a new chapter in her culinary journey. She turned her attention towards her own restaurant, Krista’s Restaurant, in Cornish, Maine. Here, she continued to showcase her culinary prowess and commitment to local, seasonal ingredients.

Krista’s Restaurant has been widely appreciated for its innovative menu and welcoming atmosphere, receiving positive reviews and garnering recognition for its unique culinary offerings.


Krista Kern Desjarlais’s departure from The Lost Kitchen was a turning point in her culinary journey. She left to pursue her own culinary vision, seek a better work-life balance, and explore new opportunities. Far from diminishing her success, this move has seen her continue to thrive at her own restaurant and play a pivotal role in the Maine culinary scene.

Her story serves as a beacon of inspiration for chefs and food professionals, a testament that following one’s passion and creating their own path in the industry can lead to fulfilling and successful careers.

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