Brenda Gonzalez

Pastry Chef, Born and Raised

Past: The Cork and Craft, La Provence
Studied at: The Art Institute San Diego

What is the first recipe you ever baked?
If you count the Easy-Bake oven I used when I was 9 years old, it was a cake. But the first real recipe I ever baked was a peanut butter cookie. 

What’s your favorite thing to bake at home?
Any type of cookie. They are quick to make and you can eat them almost right away. 

What are some of your favorite flavor combinations for baked goods?
I like to play a lot with savory and sweet combinations. I like a really well balanced baked good.

What inspired you to become a chef?
I think my mom and grandmother inspired me to become a chef. I would always hang out with them in the kitchen. I liked that my mom wasn’t afraid to try new recipes. So I signed up to take the savory classes at the Art Institute. We spent some time learning basics of baking and I loved it. I love the precision. 

What advice would you offer to anyone looking to start a culinary career?
You must really have a passion and drive to be in this industry. Have a vision of where you want to be. It’s a lot of hard work and where you want to be will not happen overnight. Be patient.