July Foodie: Audra Sternberg

A woman dons a black apron while holding a plate of pastries.
Audra Sternberg, a rising star

Tony Valainis

Audra Sternberg has spent most of her adult life working behind the scenes, making the chefs around her look good, including her three-time James Beard–nominated husband, Alan Sternberg. Equal parts food photographer, food stylist, and mood-setter, she primed diners’ senses for the meals they were about to eat, a skill that goes mostly underappreciated.

It’s Audra’s turn now. As the scratch baker at Field Brewing in Westfield and creative partner in the Common House pop-up supper club (soon to be a brick-and-mortar restaurant), she’s creating small-batch breads and baked goods that have customers oohing and ahhing at the pastry case, hoping they made it to Field in time to get the last oatmeal cream pie of the day. Sternberg has been baking all her life, a skill she learned from her mother. She built on her knowledge as she rode the culinary rocket ship with Alan (her high school sweetheart), taking advantage of that chef-adjacent life. “When you’re around cooking every day and live with someone who’s obsessed, you benefit, too,” says Sternberg.

While the couple finalizes the permanent location and opening timeline of Common House (with a pasta-driven menu and elaborate weekend themes), Audra enjoys the creative freedom she has at Field, using leftover fruit for berry compote with spent-grain granola, and making chocolate cookie sandwiches with bourbon icing. “It’s been a good way to put myself out there,” she says.

Click here for Sternberg’s vegan, gluten-free recipe for homemade power bars.