FIRST THOUGHT: The Icing on the Cake
Ladies, if you’re a home baker who’s in search of a new profession that feeds your soul while making you some good dough, you might want to consider joining the pastry industry. 2018 is a good year to be a female pastry chef. And here’s some proof to back up that claim: The annual James Beard Awards, generally recognized as the top culinary prize in a variety of food-related categories, nominated five chefs and bakers in the Outstanding Pastry Chef category for 2018 that the James Beard Foundation claims are national standard bearers of excellence—and they’re all women! And that’s no pie in the sky.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 2014
I always love learning about women who are the first females to accomplish something amazing. For instance, take Susie Morrison, who, in 2014, became the first woman to assume the role of White House executive pastry chef. During her tenure as head sweets maven under President Barack Obama, Susie was responsible for planning and executing all the pastries and desserts for social events at the White House, including state dinners, receptions and, of course, private family affairs and presidential sweet-tooth cravings.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Angela Garbacz, Founder of Goldenrod Pastries and Empower Through Flour
There’s no better friend to have than one who bakes, am I right? Just as women are slowly climbing the ranks on the savory side of the culinary industry, so too are women who bake. And when I say “bake,” I’m not talking about your grandma’s annual Christmas cake. I’m talking about remarkable chefs who turn flour and sugar into real works of art, like today’s trendsetting Woman to Watch, Angela Garbacz.
Angela, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, has spent more than a decade ruling in the food biz and owns a specialty shop called Goldenrod Pastries. Located in Lincoln, Neb., Goldenrod is about as exceptional a business as it comes. Following Angela’s extensive pedigree of working alongside icons like Chef Jacques Pépin, she discovered she had a dairy intolerance.
But this doyen of dessert wasn’t about to let an aversion to dairy keep her from dominating the pastry world. Instead, it inspired her to refine her recipes into melt-in-your-mouth sweet treats without using such baking staples as butter and cream. Then she launched Goldenrod Pastries, her boutique bakery, which features a delicious line of diet-inclusive delicacies, including many vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free cakes, cookies, brownies and specialty pastries, as well as many artfully designed, thoughtfully crafted traditional treats.
Goldenrod Pastries is unique in another awesome way: It is entirely staffed by women. It’s Angela’s way of encouraging women to build each other up while creating an environment of female empowerment. Pretty sweet, right?
With that girl power in mind, Angela also started Empower Through Flour, a cadre of the country’s top female chefs and pastry chefs who work together to further the empowerment of women. A portion of the proceeds garnered from the sale of their baked creations goes to I Am That Girl, a wonderful female-empowerment nonprofit founded by our former Woman to Watch, Alexis Jones.
Thanks, Angela, for dipping into your amazing cookie jar of talent to create a female-driven bakery biz and supporting the advancement of women with Empower Through Flour. We think that takes the cake!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Whatever industry, part-time job, mama duty or household chore you’re taking on today, ladies, we hope you’re inspired to give it your all. With that in mind, I’ll leave you with this oh-so-true quote, one of Angela Garbacz’s favorites, from her friend and inspiration, Rebecca Forsyth, who said:
“The harder you work, the luckier you get.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.