BLACK HISTORY MONTH: A CONVERSATION WITH MARIA KEMP OF BEYOND DECADENCE

How did you start baking? 

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It all started with my sweet little mom in a tiny kitchen in upstate New York. I learned all the basics of baking under her watchful eye. I looked forward to our time together just as much as I loved learning how to make some of bakings notable staples; cookies, brownies, fudge, cakes, etc.

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What role did baking play in your upbringing? 

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It was gi-normous and therapeutic! We didn’t necessarily call it “bullying” back in the 1970’s, but now I realize that’s what I was encountering in school. Every morning just getting ready for school would upset my stomach, conveniently making me late almost daily. In school I was shy, kept to myself, and definitely an introvert. Whatever wasn’t right outside the kitchen disappeared inside the kitchen. I don’t know if it was working with my hands, spending time with my mom, eating raw cookie dough, or trying to get whatever I was making to come out like the picture. Whatever that “thing” was filled my cup and recharged my spirit!

My passion for baking was so strong, I had dreams of baking professionally after high school. However, my dad was not supportive of my career choice and encouraged me to pursue another path. Keep in mind this was pre-Food Network, so I didn’t have anything or anyone that looked like me to give credibility to my dreams. So I acquiesced and went to school for Business Administration. Little did I know, my dream would be deferred until I became an empty nester in early 2005/2006, left my contract IT Consultant job behind, and enrolled in pastry school full-time.

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What was your biggest baking faux pas? 

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Overcrowding an oven NEVER turns out well. (Trust me, the desserts won’t bake any faster!) I’ll never forget the customer who returned an under-baked cheesecake.

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What is your favorite item to bake? 

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I’m a little odd as I don’t have a favorite dessert in my arsenal. When time permits, I like to experiment, test new recipes or combine new flavors.

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If you were a pastry what you be and why? 

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Oooooooo that’s a tough question! A molten lava chocolate cake. Who doesn’t like gooey warm chocolate?!

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What would you say your business specializes in? 

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I am not a cake artist. I love creating mini desserts. American, gluten-free, French and limited vegan desserts. We specialize decadent desserts delivered locally and shipped nationwide. All our desserts are made to order and we do not have desserts available for immediate purchase.

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What is the best way for customers to place orders?

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Online ordering on our website! Please note we are on hiatus at the moment until early March. (see below)

I am currently on hiatus recovering from knee surgery. We will reopen in early March with a brand new Shopify website.

 

 

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