The fresh batch: Mallory Omundson
Name: Mallory Omundson
Current City: Kansas City, MO
Current Job: Pastry Chef and Owner at Amore Dolci Bakery
What is your background in baking and how did you get to where you are today?
I have been baking my whole life. My foundation and love for pastries came from my grandmother growing up. I enjoyed baking so much that about three years ago I decided to make it my career. I enrolled in the Art Institute International in KC to further my education and perfect my technique. I was offered an amazing opportunity by John Smith at Pig and Finch in Leawood, KS to be their pastry chef. Here I got to experiment and perfect some of my dishes along with learning a lot about the restaurant industry. My dream has always been to open my own bakery, and with the support of my dearest friends and business partners we were able to make this happen. Amore Dolci Bakery opened its doors in July of 2015.
What do you love about your job?
I love the challenge of creating delicious and appealing desserts that bring smiles to people’s faces. There is nothing more satisfying then the finished product. That moment when all those ingredients that you spend hours turn in to a sweet treats, comes out of the oven looking and smelling amazing. It’s hard not to feel accomplished at the end of the day.
What are your favorite products to make?
Oinksters! They are a maple bacon cupcake with a creamy maple buttercream topped with fresh bacon. A lot of consumers question the mixture of bacon and dessert. I love to hear their positive response and that surprised look on their face when they bite into these mini cupcakes packed with flavor.
What do you consider to be the biggest food trends impacting your business, and how are you responding?
Vegan and gluten-free. We are providing these options in our cases for the everyday walk-in, along with offering special orders for breads and pastries that are vegan or gluten-free.
What is the best advice you have received from other bakers or chefs?
John Smith, of Pig and Finch, told me “Deconstruct everything, how do the components of a dish do on their own and how do they complement a dish?” This made me step back and think about how someone eats a dish. They may not get every component in every bite. I was then able to perfect part of a dessert I create, making sure that each component can stand on its own, along with bringing “wow” to a dish.
Who would you would like to collaborate with in the kitchen?
I am inspired by the beautiful and delicious dishes Christina Tosi creates. I can relate to her journey to figuring out that she wanted to work in the baking industry. I also enjoy her constructive criticism, and feel that I could learn a lot from her.
What is the best thing you’ve eaten lately?
Buttermilk pie with lemon curd, fresh whipped cream and blackberries.
When you are not in the bakery, where can you be found?
Exploring Kansas City with my friends, we love live music concerts and trying new and interesting restaurants. Kansas City is an amazing city to live in, from Boulevard Brewery to Joe’s KC BBQ you can just see the pride my community has for our local businesses.
In terms of innovation, what do you think your generation brings to the table?
The science aspect of baking for sure. I feel that my generation has the capability to push things to the next level. It’s amazing what people can do with food these days. Case in point this amazing show on PBS called The Mind Of A Chef it highlights new techniques and inventive ways to prepare food.
What is something you would like to achieve that you have not done already?
I would love to write my own cookbook. There are so many recipes from my family and of my own creation that I would love to share with the world. I mean that’s how food continues to grow and reinvent itself.