Tag: Pastry Chef

#EmployeeSpotlight: Anastasia – Head Pastry Chef

Good morning, Bella Christiez Readers!

bella christiez, pittsburgh bakeryIt’s that time again – Our Employee of the Month Spotlight… this time around we are featuring, Anastasia – our Head Pastry Chef. The passion behind her craft goes beyond – “It’s science, its art, and much more! I love that I can focus on creating and building something that brings others much joy!” Anastasia says.

Anastasia originally enrolled to go to school for fashion merchandising…

Q: Did you go to school for pastry arts or did you just have a passion for it?
A: I originally enrolled to go to school for fashion merchandising, realized I would not be happy in the long run, and decided to give my favorite hobby of baking/cooking a whirl. I am so glad I did. I love what I do! Plus this new fad with cats on clothing, I could never get behind.

Q: How long have you been creating pastries?
A: I have been professionally baking for about seven years. I tried to cook when I was little, had no direction, quit… and revisited the craft in high school.

Q: What is your past experience with pastries?
A: I have been lucky to learn a lot everywhere I have worked around Pittsburgh. I have worked in a small bake

bella christiez, pittsburgh bakery

house, grocery stores, café/bakeries, and catering. Breakfast to dessert, every day baked goods to dietary friendly (vegan, gluten free, sugar free).

And then we asked Anastasia what her favorite pastry was to make… “There are a few favorites but gourmet cheesecakes are my absolute favorite! My favorite to EAT, pain au chocolate!!” Which we can all surely tell you, not only are they her favorites to make – they’re our favorites to eat, so delicious.

bella christiez, pittsburgh bakeryQ: Do you experiment often with different styles and techniques?
A: When I can, I’m always willing to learn, exercise my skills and grow!!! What’s great about Bella’s is that there is always something new and creative thrown my away.

We love that too – it’s not everyday you get someone to ask you to make an upside down wedding cake… we totally agree with Anastasia – we’re always honing our skills, someone comes in with something super creative and different, almost everyday!

We asked Anastasia what her daily schedule looked like and how she fit her Pastry Chef-awesomeness, in…
“First, {I} greet everyone with a good morning, grab some coffee, then start to organize my daily production and get to baking!”

Does she bake at home? “Yes, I love to bake and cook at home! It is always interesting to see what I can create out of all the random ingredients I have laying around the kitchen!”

And, of course – we had to ask… what is your favorite part about working at Bella Christie and Lil’ Z’s?

I think the group of people working at Bella Christie’s is pretty special! I am happy to be a part of such a hard working and deserving team. I also enjoy what I get to create, I do not think I will ever get bored of our menu and ever evolving offerings!!!

And before we go… here are some fun questions we ask Anastasia – cheers to getting to know all about her!!

bella christiez, pittsburgh bakeryQ: Who is your celebrity crush?
A: Hands down, I Love Harrison Ford! …Favorite celebrity chef is Michael Simon!

Q: If you could live in any other country for 2 years where would you go?
A: I think about this all the time! I would love to live in France on a working farm! Although I want to travel the world my top places to visit are France, Greece, Austria and Italy.

Q: What are your favorite Pittsburgh restaurants?
A: So many to choose from, but a few I will always go back to:
Breakfast: Coca Café, Lunch/Dinner: BRGR, Dinner: Casbah, Dessert: Milkshake Factory!\

That’s a wrap, folks!

Sweetly Yours,
The Bella Christiez Team

*All images pictured are Pastry Creations by Anastasia.




#EmployeeSpotlight: RUMI

Good PM, Bella Christie’s Readers – how are you this delicious Wednesday evening?
It is more than official – #BackToSchool is in full gear, kiddos off running to yellow school buses and Moms and Dads working into new routines and new schedules and left to be reading our #BellaChristiez blog posts, in quiet 😉 We’re off to featuring our first Employee Spotlight today – Rumi, our resident Cookie Designer!
Rumi, Bella Christiez Pastry ChefDabbling in CCAC’s Culinary Arts Program for two years, Rumi is mostly all self-taught when it comes to the pastry arts. She’s been decorating cookies for over two years! Before coming on board with us here at Bella’s, Rumi decorated Gingerbread Houses, Cupcakes, Cakes & Cakepops.
Ever since Rumi was a child, she enjoyed doodling and drawing – this, cookie decorating, is an extension of that. Aside from the people she works with – Rumi loves working at Bella Christiez  because she has freedom to create all the different designs on cookies her heart desires! Silhouettes, using a projector to create characters – mock cartoons and movie regulars.
Rumi, Bella Christiez Pastry Chef Rumi, Bella Christiez Pastry Chef Rumi, Bella Christiez Pastry Chef Rumi, Bella Christiez Pastry Chef
Q: Do you experiment often with different styles and techniques?
A: Yes. I have to constantly experiement with different designs to meet the customers’ requests.
Q: What does your daily schedule, at Bella Christie’s & Lil’ Z’s look like on a routine?
A: I start decorating cookies at 7:00am and sometimes, I don’t leave until long after closing hours.
Rumi – no stranger to passion for her work, does like to take a little rest and relaxation once she travels home after her day baking & decorating at our Bake Shoppe. “After a full day’s work, I like to just relax.” And boy, does this gal deserve it! Have you seen the pictures associated with this post – they’re all her, ladies & gentleman!
While Rumi’s relaxing, and daydreaming about cookie decoration (of course!) she also enjoys watching Japanese shows on the internet. And when we asked her – if she were stuck on a deserted island, and were only allowed two things – we expected her to say cookie batter and icing – but she replied with the smartest answer: “My computer and internet access so that I ca send for help to rescue me!”
It’s no surprise some of Rumi’s favorite travel destinations are Walt Disney World & National Parks – have you seen her inspiration? Disney’s Frozen, WICKED and all the Disney Princesses have shown up on her #customcookies – a time or two.
Thank you, Rumi, for all that you do! We couldn’t be baking with you!
Sweetly Yours, The Bella Christiez Team