After receiving a graduate certificate in baking at the California Culinary Academy, Maura moved back to her hometown and worked for many of Boston’s top chefs including Lydia Shire, Moncef Medeb, Rene Michelena and Ana Sortun. She opened two bakeries shortly thereafter with High-Rise Bread Company. In 2001, she reunited with Sortun to develop the concept for Oleana. It was at that time that Maura fell in love with the exotic flavors and spices for which she is now known.
Through extensive research, experimentation, travel, and “homework”, Maura has perfected her award-winning Middle-Eastern pastries; integrating typical ingredients from the Eastern Mediterranean such as orange blossoms, tahini, rose petals, kaymek and kadayifi. She creates contemporary versions of traditional desserts from Turkey, Egypt, and beyond. Alison Arnett of the Boston Globe writes, “Maura Kilpatrick’s creations are dazzling, and often reflect the origins of the dishes on the savory side.”
The tremendous success of Oleana spawned a second collaboration between Kilpatrick and Sortun. In August 2008, the culinary duo opened Sofra, a Middle Eastern cafe and bakery. Located on the Cambridge and Watertown border, the name Sofra comes from an old Arabic word meaning “dining table”, picnic or kilim. Sofra is also a synonym for generosity and hospitality. In addition to its extensive set of dessert offerings, Sofra Bakery offers a modern Eastern Mediterranean approach to savory cafe cuisine such as Meze (cold dips and spreads), together with flatbread sandwiches and savory entrees. Specialty sweets include everything from Egyptian Palace Bread and Chocolate Hazelnut Baklava to bakery classics like Earthquake cookies and seasonal Fruit Tarts.