Owner of Buttermilk Boutique
“I never stop practicing my craft. There is always something to learn whether it be a new technique, or a better way to accomplish an already learned technique. Keep researching and reading, it will only make you a better chef.„
I lead by example. I find that when I put in more than what is expected or asked of me, people who work with me and for me do the same. I couldn't expect them to if I am not also willing to put in the hard work. That keeps us all motivated and in turn, we inspire each other.
I love cookbooks and pastry magazines. I collect them. Food literature is all that fills my bookshelves (and a few kitchen cabinets) at home. I love So Good Magazine, a haute pâtisserie publication. And since lugging around a bunch of cookbooks is difficult with two little ones, I also have two main online subscriptions to Callebaut's Chocolate Academy and Pastry Arts Magazine. They keep me up-to-date with everything a pastry chef and novice chocolatier needs to know.
My family inspires me to work and excel in this industry. I come from a long line of avid bakers. My grandmothers and great-grandmothers were bakers. Unfortunately, they never got the opportunity to start a business in the industry they loved so much. I do this for them and for my children; starting a family business to keep their legacy alive.
Most of my inspiration comes from dreams I have. I know it sounds bizarre, but I dream about pastry all the time, from plating ideas to flavor combinations. And when I'm not dreaming up deliciousness, I love finding inspiration from other pastry chefs on Instagram. There are some insanely talented chefs out there!
My time at the Carolina Country Club in Raleigh, NC was critical in shaping the pastry chef I am today. The Executive Pastry Chef there was tough, at times impossible to work for. But I stuck with it. He was talented and gave me, a young baker who knew nothing about fine pastry, a solid pastry foundation. He was extremely detail-oriented and strived for more than perfection, and he made sure that I did as well. He taught me most of the things I had only dreamed about: how to plate desserts, how to plan and execute menus, how to develop complex flavor profiles, chocolate work, and the importance of working clean. I’ve carried these lessons with me till this day, and I'm a better pastry chef for it.
I would not be able to do my job without my KitchenAid mixer! It's a life, time and arm saver.
Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.
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