Once upon a time, I baked professionally. One of the places that I baked for a living was in the small and charming town of Los Olivos, California, recognized for its fine vineyards and Western Art Galleries. For a few years, I was known as the "Pastry Chef" at the The Los Olivos Grand Hotel even though I have no formal culinary training (however, you should see my extensive cookbook collection - quite an education in and of itself).
I baked from scratch all bread for the hotel (every single slice of toast and sandwich bread), muffins, hamburger buns and a full array of dinner breads. In addition I was given complete freedom by the chef, Linda (Linny) Largent Mayer who had come to the hotel having formerly been a chef at Cal-a-Vie Spa in San Diego, to create the seasonal desserts featured each week on the dining room menu. It was in this venue I created many of the recipes you will see from me on future posts.