Pastry chef, entrepreneur and bon vivant, Cheryl Wakerhauser, sees every day as a chance to learn something new and contribute something else. After a short-lived career studying to be an astronaut, Cheryl received a degree in pastry arts from Vancouver’s Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and then headed straight to Southern France to further train at the prestigious pâtisserie of MOF Philippe URRACA. Her eccentric dessert restaurant, Pix Pâtisserie, was born in Portland, Oregon in 2002, where adventurous guests could enjoy bold flavored sweet treats paired with a Belgian ale late into the night. Bar Vivant was added to the space in 2012, bringing a savory menu of San Sebastián inspired tapas to pair with the ever growing, award-winning beverage selection, showcasing both champagne and sherry wines. The pandemic inspired a new business model – vending. The Pix-O-Matic debuted in 2020 selling the same fine French pâtisserie that was served in the restaurant, but in a 24-hour contactless vending machine.
Her techniques, flavor combinations and whimsical design (along with a few parlor tricks!) can be discovered in her acutely instructional cookbooks, Modern French Pastry and Petite Pâtisserie, which have received accolades by France’s two most prestigious professional cooking trade journals, Thuriès Gastonomie and Le Journal du Pâtissier. She also teaches food and wine master classes, where students can learn how to make a croquembouche, perfect their macarons or explore the different styles of sherry wine.
In this episode we discuss:
- How Cheryl first became interested in pastry
- How she landed an internship with Phillipe Urraca, MOF
- What it was like to be one of the only women in a French pastry kitchen
- How she turned her dream of opening a pastry shop into reality
- The careful crafting of a fun atmosphere at Pix Patisserie
- Navigating the COVID pandemic and the brainstorm of the Pix-o-Matic
- How she was able to write two successful cookbooks
- Cheryl’s secret for making pastry cream in record time
- and much more!
Episode Sponsored by
Dobla – IRCA
We know pastry chefs are busy. Ordering from Dobla and IRCA means not having to make everything from scratch, and instead spending time assembling final products for sale. It means getting more products in one place, which cuts down on the time spent browsing catalogs, placing orders and visiting with sales representatives. That means you spend less time focused on the business and more time on the thing you love: creating succulent sweets and savories that will keep your customers coming back for seconds. For more information, visit www.dobla.com.