Chef Natsume Aoi studied music in college before pursuing pastry arts at the French Culinary Institute in New York and Le Cordon Bleu in Tokyo. She staged in Hong Kong at Mandarin Oriental hotels before launching her career at bakeries and restaurants in New York.
Chef Natsume trained under chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Nobu 57 and Spice Market in New York, followed by a few years in Shanghai at Mercato by Jean-Georges. After gaining management experience at a patisserie and afternoon tea restaurant in Shanghai, she returned to New York as the executive pastry chef at Morimoto.
In 2020, when Morimoto closed, Chef Natsume became the culinary director and executive pastry chef at Mochidoki before transitioning to teaching at ICE in 2021. Her work has been featured by Saveur, Eater, Cherry Bombe and Time Out. Chef Natsume's cake design was recognized in Elle Magazine in 2012, she was a guest judge and instructor for Shanghai Young Bakers in 2015, and her mochi was featured in Marie Kondo Rituals in 2020.
- Diplome de Boulangerie, Le Cordon Bleu, Tokyo, Japan
- Classic Pastry Arts Grande Diplome, French Culinary Institute, NYC
- B.S. in Music, New York University
- Executive Pastry Chef & Culinary Director, Mochidoki, New York, 2020-2021
- Executive Pastry Chef, Morimoto, New York, 2017-2020
- General Manager, F&B Director and Executive Pastry Chef, Dammann Salon du The; AperiTea Patisserie & Intermezze Restaurant by Intrend Vancasa, Shanghai, 2015-2017
- Head Pastry Chef, Mercato by Jean-Georges, Shanghai, 2012-2015
- Lead Pastry Chef de Partie, Jean-Georges' Spice Market, New York, 2011-2012
- Pastry Jr. Chef de Partie, Nobu 57, New York, 2010-2012
- Pastry Chef and Cake Decorator, Gobo Restaurant, New York, 2010-2011
- Pastry Chef Consultant, Cafe by Yoshida Development, New York, 2010
- Pastry Stagiere, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Hong Kong, 2008-2009