Originally from LaPorte, IN, Amanda “Mini” Rafalski has been in the restaurant industry since the age of 14. Rather than working in fast food restaurants like her classmates, Mini began bussing tables at an upscale restaurant near her home and she quickly discovered her passion for the industry and her ability to work well under pressure, which led her to pursue her education at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco where she studied baking and pastry.
Shortly after graduating from California Culinary Academy, Mini began her career as a pastry sous chef at Brasserie Ruhlmann in Chicago, followed by two years as a pastry sous chef for Graces Restaurant Group in Philadelphia. With three years of experience under her belt, Mini returned to Chicago and joined Stephanie Izard at Girl & the Goat where she worked as a line cook and baker. When it was time to open Little Goat Diner in 2012, Mini jumped at the opportunity to join the team across the street where she transitioned into her current role as pastry chef.
With over four years of experience at two of the West Loop’s busiest restaurants, Mini has excelled under pressure, gained a diverse set of skills and continued to refine her craft. With a simplistic approach and attention to detail and technique, Mini prepares clean and well-executed desserts while also reflecting Little Goat’s approachable atmosphere and whimsical menu.
When she’s not in the kitchen or travelling around the country with Stephanie, Mini can be found frequenting her favorite Chicago restaurants or training for her third marathon.