Let’s face it: Joanne Chang is a super-woman, a super-baker and a super-generous person. I thought I adored her but Kate’s crush is perhaps even a little deeper than even mine! You can see just how fabulous Joanne is in person at the Eat Boutique Holiday Market, where she will sign cookbooks from 12-1pm. -Maggie
From bakers to candy makers, my heart will always belong to those who add a touch of sweetness to my everyday life. And though I (as well as my dentist) thank you all for satiating my sweet tooth, there is one baker in particular I’d like to take just a moment to celebrate: Joanne Chang, owner of Boston’s Flour Bakery and Café and cookbook author of Flour and Flour, Too.
With four fabulous Flour Bakery and Café locations throughout Boston, two incredible cookbooks, and an always-endearing smile, Joanne Chang has earned a great deal of respect and admiration among food-lovers and business-savvy folks alike. She’s also made quite the impression on me, and here are five (of the many) reasons why I simply adore Joanne:
1. Flour and Flour, Too: As if the first cookbook wasn’t enough (I’ve nearly memorized mine!), Joanne has just released its follow-up, Flour, Too. This book showcases Joanne’s savory side with recipes ranging from simple soups to hearty entrees, many of which appear on the menu at her Flour Bakery and Café. The cookbook offers a great deal of inspiration for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, including favorites like Mama Chang’s Hot and Sour Soup, Flour’s Famous Egg Sandwich, Scallion Pancakes, and Best Boston Cream Pie.
2. Homemade Pop-Tarts and Oreos: Joanne has mastered the art of pastry, and has created some of my favorite childhood treats, minus all the processed ingredients. These sentimentally sweet recipes appear in her first cookbook, Flour. Fair warning: Her versions are highly addictive and so much better than the originals.
3. Sticky Sticky Buns: These delightfully (and extremely popular—the cafes always sell out) sweet and sticky, sticky buns deserve their very own number, because, yes, they are that good. You can find the recipe in Flour. Make them. Make them now and thank me later.
4. Courage: Joanne graduated with honors from Harvard College with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics. While working as a management consultant, she found that she spent all of her time and money in the kitchen, and decided to make the leap to professional cooking. Joanne gained experience with some of the best in the business before she was ready to open her own bakery. Her inspirational story proves that life is what you make of it, and I’m terribly thankful she decided to follow her heart.
5. Totally charming: Joanne is one of the most down-to-earth and friendliest people I’ve ever had the good graces to meet, and (as far I can tell) she is that way with everyone she meets. She seems to truly love what she does and I can’t help but applaud her attitude. I only wish that more people would take a page from her book by embracing their passions and smiling at others more often—or, at the very least, take a page from her cookbook and bake something that will make them happy.
I could go on and on, but now I’m craving a sticky bun so I must start baking. Stop by and say hello to this lovely lady if you’re at the Holiday Market, or order the cookbooks today if you can’t make it to Boston (you will be missed).
Photos courtesy of Flour Bakery and Café and Shelby Larson.
Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.
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