Q&A: A peek inside the pastry department
Our pastry room always smells like sugar and butter and happy memories. I’ve also recently discovered that even though I pretty much hate cooking, I love baking. So when I saw Grace Martin, one of our bakers, having lunch one afternoon, I harassed her and asked all about what it’s like to make pastries for Bread & Cie.
Hi, sorry to interrupt your lunch: It’s OK. I could talk about baking all the time.
How long have you worked here? Fifteen months.
When did you know you wanted to be a baker? Officially or unofficially? Oficially it was when I was 18 and it occured to me that it’s all I ever do anyway. Unoficially, I’d say when I was in kindergarten, I was always that kid who made food out of Play-Doh.
What exactly do you do in our pastry department? I make the smaller items that get sent to the cafe, things like eclairs and Tiramisu. I make about 200 pieces a day, but other people in the department make closer to about 2,000 a day.
What’s your favorite thing to make? I’d say the Parisian Macaroons, I make the ganche and then I fill them.
What don’t you like to make? Pastry cream. But it’s only because I literally make 12 batches a week. It’s good, I like it, but I just seem to make it all the time.
Do you bake when you’re at home, too? Yes, I know, I’m crazy.
Do you have any baking heroes? Well, not like a celebrity hero. I’d say my mom, not necessarily because she’s the best baker, but because she got me started. And then my professor, Chef Luu, because I thought he knew everything there was to know about baking.
What was the first thing you ever made by yourself? Probably something like chocolate chip cookies when I was 8-years-old.
What’s it like to work at Bread & Cie.? It’s amazing, I’ve become a bread snob.
What’s your favorite pastry here? Definitely the chocolate croissant, we make the best ones.