As the Executive Pastry Chef at Neighborhood Restaurant Group, I spend a good bit of my time traveling around to the different restaurants (click here for a full list), meeting with chefs and working on new desserts, breads, and more. I spend a little bit of extra time on two meaningful places: Birch & Barley and Buzz Bakery. My husband Kyle Bailey and I were the opening chefs at Birch & Barley back in October 2009, and the kitchen is still a big part of my work and inspiration. Fortunately, I have a great team there to help oversee the dessert and bread program most evenings. Lemon-Poppy Seed Donuts at brunch, my favorite Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart, and the Pretzel Rolls on the bread board are a few of the memorable creations at Birch & Barley.
Buzz Bakery is also a major focus for me. With two locations and two busy kitchens – always churning out something hot and fresh – my time is spent between both shops working on new cupcakes, cheesecakes, muffins, scones, bread puddings, quiches, and a lot of the time, one of our elaborate custom cakes. Never a dull moment!
My pastry career began like most: with an education. I grew up in Hawaii, but eagerly moved to New York City to start learning at the Institute of Culinary Education. Soon after graduation, I landed my first gig as a pastry assistant at the amazing Union Square Café, and learned so much from Deborah Snyder. I ultimately found my first official Pastry Chef position in the kitchen at CRU, where I had a lot of fun making more than a dozen different nightly ice creams and sorbets, trying different recipes, ingredients, and flavors combinations along the way. Kyle and I most recently worked together at Allen & Delancey, and it was there that I explored an ambitious bread program and developed my style when it came to refined desserts. In mid-2009, Washington, DC came calling, and we haven’t looked back since. Ok, maybe we miss the restaurant scene in New York from time to time, but we try to get away from our kitchens every once in a while and see what the rest of the world is cooking.
To read my full official biography, please click here.