Do you have a love for pastries? Allison does. We had the privilege of speaking with "The Amazing Allison Hertz". She is a very talented pastry chef at Olga's Cup and Saucer in Providence, Rhode Island. Take a look at what she had to say. :)
Allison Hertz: I am a pastry chef at a bakery/breakfast & lunch eatery in Providence Rhode Island called Olga's Cup And Saucer. Providence is a very innovative foodie city infatuated with the culinary arts and the fact that I am a pastry chef who went to art school for oil painting and illustration instead of culinary school boggles some people. I believe there are many connections between culinary/pastry arts and fine art. The two subjects are intertwined and I have an intense passion for both.
Candie and Michelle: I agree. They go hand in hand. :) Have you always liked baking?
Allison Hertz: Ever since I could hold a spatula.
Candie and Michelle: :) Who inspired you to start baking?
Allison Hertz: My mother and my older sister, Marla.
Candie and Michelle: Sweet. :) Besides baking pastries do you have any other talents?
Allison Hertz: Painting and illustration, passion for gardening and growing vegetables/fruits,
Candie and Michelle: Would love to see some of your work. :) What inspires you to create certain pastries?
Allison Hertz: Mother Nature and the changing of the seasons. When fruits and vegetables come in and out of season, my pastries change to reflect this natural process. I aim to highlight flavors when they are in their prime. My challenge is to connect these flavors, to pair them with others that are either unique, surprising, or opposite expectation and please even the most expanded palates. It is this challenge that invigorates me on a daily basis.
Candie and Michelle: :) What was your favorite thing to bake?
Allison Hertz: I love cakes. I love the sculptural element of a cake, how it can become a piece of art and a symbol of celebration. I love how cakes bring people together. Decorating is one of my favorite things to do.
Candie and Michelle: Awww. :) What is the most difficult thing you have ever had to bake?
Allison Hertz: I don't like to categorize pastries as easy medium or hard in terms of difficulty levels. I like to think of all pastries as complex science experiments and if you don't understand what is going on chemically with the ingredients, it is hard to understand your product even at a basic level. But, in all honesty, hand-laminating croissant dough is up there.
Candie and Michelle: I understand. That does sound tough. Do you have any advice for any aspiring bakers?
Allison Hertz: Eat up all the books you can that describe things on a scientific level. Hang out with other bakers. Taste different combinations you think you will not enjoy and aim to expand your palate. Do things that scare you. Get invigorated. Always keep it fun!
Candie and Michelle: That is great advice!
Thank you so much Allison for stopping by. We've enjoyed having you. We invite you back to showcase your painting and illustrations. :)
-Candie and Michelle