A panel discussion of desserts with some of Los Angeles’ foremost pastry chefs and authors. Culinary Historian Grace Bauer will lead the panel which will include Jane Lockhart of Sweet Lady Jane’s, Valerie Gordon, the Sweet Chef of Valerie Confections, and Pastry Chef Mariah Swan.
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. Bauer’s 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. She is the author of Los Angeles Classic Desserts.
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, Jane 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 unusual creations as an entire wedding cake of cheesecake and a vegan red velvet wedding cake.
We will learn just how her Triple Berry Cream Cake and Sea Salt Brownies became an important part of the Los Angeles dessert scene.
Valerie Gordon: is known as the Sweet Chef of 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 Valerie opened Valerie Confections with partner, Stan Weightman, Jr., creating artisan chocolates and other dessert specialties. These have become known throughout the country for their contemporary interpretations of chocolate confections. Learning about classic Los Angeles desserts became a passion for Valerie. 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 to be released in 2013.
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 moved onto Axe, in Venice, where she was employed as Baker and worked with organic produce from local farmers markets. Once she moved to Grace Restaurant under Pastry Chef Elizabeth Belkind, Swan was introduced to the doughnut. Her Wednesday night Doughnut Shoppe and National Doughnut Day menus at BLD, and the late Grace Restaurant, are extremely popular events, receiving coverage in the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly. While perfecting the doughnut, Swan began to delve into ice cream, her favorite treat. She created the spiked milkshake programs at BLD and their monthly Milkshake Madness has been covered by various publications including the New York Times and Food Network Magazine. LA Weekly’s blog, Squid Ink, named her shakes as one of the Ten Best Milkshakes in Los Angeles recognizing them as the best spiked milkshakes in the city. Recipes for her doughnuts and milkshakes have been published in Lucy Lean’s Made in America: Our Best Chefs Reinvent Comfort Food and Grace Bauer’s Los Angeles Classic Desserts. She recently has been in research and development mode for BLD’s new sister concept icdc, appropriately named for their ice cream, donuts and coffee, slotted to open early 2013.