Charlsie was my grammy. She was a fun-loving Texan through-and-through who appreciated the Southern way of life. I wanted to honor her by focusing on some of her favorite time-honored desserts. I got my creativity and sense of whimsy from her.
I entered the restaurant industry by accident. I enrolled in a weekend baking class at a community college and loved it. I immediately switched my major. Now, I wouldn’t dream of doing anything else! I’ve cooked at the James Beard House in New York City, and have had a few nods from various publications, and have been making pastries for local Baltimore top 50 restaurants for years.
Being part of a military family, I often lived in tropical places. When we lived in Key West, one of my favorite pastimes was visiting local shops and trying their offerings of sweets–key lime pie flavors usually being the focus.
Twenty years later and I still judge a good restaurant or pastry shop by the quality of their pies and down-home Southern desserts. Today, I find that most bakeries are lost in the modern pastry world with excessive extracts and additives. There are too many discussions regarding the newest fad in the world of baking and too few discussions about how to achieve the flakiest pie dough that our grandmothers would smile upon.
I’m most inspired by Sean Brock’s style of cooking–wasting nothing but coaxing every ounce of flavor out of each ingredient. While I don’t have a brick and mortar yet, my goal is to evoke a feeling of childhood wistfulness within my customers when they taste just one bite of my creations. If one can take a simple classic whoopie pie and add a bit more individuality to it, that’s what I believe takes people to their happy place.
Welcome to Charlsie's Bakehouse; where we focus on new plays on old favorites.