Name: Xanna Kidd
Current City: Atlanta, GA
Current Job: Founder and Baker for XK Macarons, and Manager at Mae's Bakery
What is your background in baking/pastry and how did you get to where you are today?
Other than my 5 plus years of at home baking, I had no professional experience when starting XK Macarons. Everything I do has been self taught, and I really like that it all started that way; it gives my baking more life and creativity. However, I also would have loved to go to school or been more exposed to the industry before starting.
What do you love about your job?
I love that I've had the opportunity to turn something that use to be a simple hobby I did at home into how I make my living.
What are your favorite products to make?
French macarons, hands down. Not just because that's what I bake with XK Macarons, but it's even my go to if I'm out at other bakeries. They'll always be a favorite. But I also love a good éclair or lemon tart.
What do you consider to be the biggest food trends impacting your business, and how are you responding?
Honestly, macarons really became a huge thing in 2014, and people are still catching on to them and becoming just as much in love with them as I am, which is why my business has been as successful as it has been. Really the trend of them is what prompted me to start baking them in the first place. I was baking them at home for friends and family, and before I knew it I was in a commercial space and delivering my pastries to some of the biggest coffee shops in town.
What is the best advice you have received from other bakers?
I'd have to say that once someone let me in on the "secret" that baking is more than the ingredients and the outcome, that it can be a creative process, I really opened up to trying new things; like the ever so scary French macarons.
Who would you would like to collaborate with in the kitchen?
I would adore the opportunity to collaborate with Marian Rescigno and Mary Hosch. They are cake decorators in Atlanta who never fail to amaze me. I've day dreamed about doing a macaron wedding cake with them.
What is the best thing you’ve eaten lately?
I still have dreams about the lemon strawberry tart I had from WildFlour Bakery in Charleston a few months back.
When you are not in the bakery, where can you be found?
I can most often be found sipping coffee from local shops, but I am also known to take quick day trips up to the mountains or other cities near by.
In terms of innovation, what do you think your generation brings to the table?
I am constantly amazed by my generation and how they have honed in on innovation and being problem solvers, especially in Atlanta. I think people are really figuring out that they can mold their lives, and create a job or career from the ground up.
What is something you would like to achieve that you have not done already?
I would love to be able to teach classes one day on how to bake French macarons. It's often requested, but I have yet to tackle it yet! Maybe one day.