Gourmandise Desserts was born in the early ‘80s when a little Parisian girl discovered the wonders of sweets. I moved to the DC area at age eight, where dreams of sweet wonders led me to the kitchen. Batches of cookies and cream puffs spilled out of its doors, and a baker was born.
My pastry skills were honed at our family’s auberge in Provence. The lavender-scented honey, Valrhona chocolates, local almonds and the sweetest blackberries all inspired decadence. I made a chocolate cake there one summer, and it made the cut and its way onto the dessert cart. Watching from the dishwashing room, I could see patrons savoring the cake; it was magic!
After film school (Syracuse, go Orange)!,a stint at Fox and two kids,
I opened a small baking company in Venice with the support of my family and friends. We supplied local coffee shops, restaurants and catering companies with sweets and specialty cakes for five years.
I will forever be indebted to those who worked overnight mixing batter, gave me words of advice and continue to support this delicious dream.
I began teaching classes on a whim and found what I loved best; spreading the word that baking from scratch is easy as pie. Soon after, Chefmakers called I became their pastry instructor and started offering private lessons. Calls were pouring in from home bakers and chefs alike, and the Hotline was born! I love offering tips and recommending ingredients, but my favorite calls are the hushed ones from chefs who are looking for a sweet tip to make their genoise lighter or ganache smoother.
Hadley Hughes joined Gourmandise as an apprentice in early 2009. By the Spring of 2010, she joined the company as a partner. Hadley's Southern roots go beyond her Caramel Cake; in addition to baking she brings a strong background in Public Relations and web design.
This site is your sweet home. Look through our recipes, send us pictures of your favorite works and let us know your favorite tips! We would love to see you in one of our classes, so stop on by or call to schedule your own private baking party.