The Girls Are Baking: Los Angeles’ Classic Desserts
Join us for a panel discussion of classic Los Angeles desserts with some of the city’s foremost pastry chefs and authors. Culinary Historian Grace Bauer will lead the panel, which will includes Jane Lockhart of Sweet Lady Jane’s, Valerie Gordon, Chef at Valerie Confections, and Pastry Chef Mariah Swan.
About the speakers:
Grace Bauer: A culinary professional with decades of experience in interior design, Grace Bauer has a passion for West Coast flavor. She earned her culinary arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena in 2007. She is a member of the James Beard Society and the California Restaurant Association, and her culinary expertise has been featured in Kit Wohl’s New Orleans Classic Seafood. The artistry that Bauer brings to the kitchen was developed from years of work as a designer. She earned a degree in interior design and started her own commercial design firm, Bauer Interiors, Inc., in New Orleans, Louisiana. She became a member of the International Interior Design Association and the Institute of Business Design, earning a spot in Who’s Who in Interior Design. Bauer is the author of Los Angeles Classic Desserts.
Jane Lockhart: Jane Lockhart, better known as Sweet Lady Jane, has been serving Los Angeles for over 20 years with high quality desserts. After baking for area restaurants in her home and acquiring a reputation for quality products, Lockhart opened Sweet Lady Jane’s Bakery and restaurant on Melrose Avenue, and now has a second location on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. Known as “the cake designer to the stars,” Lockhart has been known to prepare such creations as an entire wedding cake of cheesecake and a vegan red velvet wedding cake. At the panel we will learn how her triple berry cream cake and sea salt brownies became an important part of the Los Angeles dessert scene.
Valerie Gordon: Valerie Gordon is the Chef at Valerie Confections. After beginning her culinary adventures in San Francisco, she moved to Los Angeles to run the fabled Les Deux Cafés in Hollywood. In 2004 Gordon opened Valerie Confections with partner Stan Weightman, Jr., creating artisan chocolates and other dessert specialties. They have become known throughout the country for their contemporary interpretations of chocolate confections. Learning about classic Los Angeles desserts became a passion for Gordon. In 2009 she introduced her line of these classic cakes. Through careful research she re-creates Blum’s Coffee Crunch Cake, Chasen’s Banana Cream Pie and Bullock’s Coconut Cream Pie. Her cookbook is scheduled for release in 2013.
Mariah Swan: Mariah Swan discovered her passion for baking and enrolled in the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena. Her early employment included working as Assistant Pastry Chef at Hollywood and Vine Diner, where she developed an interest in classic desserts. She then went to Axe in Venice, where she worked with organic produce from local farmers’ markets. Once she moved on to Grace restaurant under Pastry Chef Elizabeth Belkind, Swan discovered her talent for creating doughnuts. She created the immensely popular Wednesday night Doughnut Shoppe and National Doughnut Day menus at BLD. While perfecting the doughnut, Swan began to delve into ice cream, and added BLD’s spiked milkshake programs and monthly Milkshake Madness to her roster. Her desserts been covered by various publications including the New York Times, Food Network Magazine, Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly. Her recipes have been published in Lucy Lean’s Made in America: Our Best Chefs Reinvent Comfort Food and Grace Bauer’s Los Angeles Classic Desserts. Swan is currently in research and development for BLD’s new sister concept icdc – appropriately named for their ice cream, donuts and coffee – slated to open early 2013.
A reception with themed refreshments will follow the talk at approximately 11:30.
Mark Taper Auditorium, Downtown Central Library, 630 W. 5th St.
Free and open to the public