Life is often a meandering path, and for many, it takes years of exploration to discover the direction our lives were meant to travel. Such was the case for chef and owner Jennifer Betances of Fresh Baked Cafe, which recently expanded to include locations in both Oconomowoc and Brookfield.
On this week’s podcast, we chat with Betances about her culinary journey. It’s a path which began in her home kitchen but which ultimately led her to Europe, the place where she found her true calling. During the course of our conversation, Betances offers us a firsthand look at the origins of her passion for French pastries as well as the drive that led to her mastery of the tender, flakey laminated dough that became the foundation for her bakery business. But she also offers up a story of hope, inspiration and the immense power of second chances.
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Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club.
When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.