A local chef launches a pasta business

Chef Lindsay Chaloux prepares her pasta by hand in a commercial kitchen in Hulls Cove.

CITY HILL — Lindsay Chaloux founded the Mount Desert Island Girl Pasta Company with the goal of allowing families to enjoy her ready-to-boil meals anytime.

Chaloux, who has spent most of her life in the food industry, attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts management in 2012. Since then, she has continued to developing her skills, even making several trips to Italy, where she learned how to make pasta. She was inspired to sell her ready-to-boil pasta in May 2019 and has never looked back. Over the past four years, her operation has grown into a business called MDI Girl Pasta Company.

Each season, his company’s stand can be found at the Eden Farmer’s Market and the Northeast Harbor Farmers Market, where shoppers can choose from a variety of take-out pastas.

The pasta chef uses unique, local ingredients when she can to create pasta flavors such as Mint and Pistachio Ravioli, Lemon and Basil Fettuccine, Three Cheese Ravioli and Red Pepper Fettuccine roasts. Some of its pasta is gluten-free.

Chaloux said his pasta, made with an egg base from scratch in his commercial kitchen, needs to be packaged and frozen almost immediately to stay fresh because it contains no preservatives.

“It’s hard to get shelf-stable egg pasta, so it has to be frozen,” she said.

His pasta, which can last a few months if left in the freezer, takes less than four minutes to boil, making it a treat for any pasta lover. Farmer’s market customers buy her uncooked pasta, which she also sells online. “We keep it in the freezer to be on the safe side, as the hot, harsh summer weather can mess with the temperature,” Chaloux said.

“Most people, even chefs, don’t like to make pasta, which is kind of how I fell into it,” Chaloux said. “I’m the person who likes to do it, where others don’t like the process so much. It’s quite a workout.

Chaloux offers its frozen and pre-packaged pasta creations for quick and easy meals.

Besides the standard eggs, with a little salt, olive oil and semolina flour, there’s no secret, she says, to making her sought-after pasta, but it takes a fair amount of strength. . These ingredients must be kneaded into a paste and worked by machine. “Dough develops much better when you work your muscles, but I have a mechanical aid to help me put the dough together,” she said.

MDI Girl Pasta Company recently participated in the Mount Desert 365 Business Boot Camp, where Chaloux received advice from mentors to improve his business.

This year, Chaloux will wholesale its pasta to Blue Hill Co-op and Nor’Easter Pound and Market.

Local restaurants can now purchase his pasta to feature on their menus. “I definitely increased my availability a lot this year,” she said.

“There are big changes to be made in the next two years. We hope to grow even further. We will use the space we have and see if it is justified to develop it further,” said Chaloux. She would eventually like to find a store to sell her products, but for now she enjoys making pasta in her commercial kitchen in Hulls Cove.

MDI Girl Pasta Company can be found online at www.mdigirlpasta.com and on its Facebook page, Mount Desert Island Girl Pasta Co.

Ninah Rene

Ninah Rein, originally from MDI, covers the city of Bar Harbor. She is happy to be back in Maine after earning a bachelor’s degree in San Diego from the University of California.

Ninah Rene
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