Curious about who’s behind all the tasty treats in our pastry case every day here and at our sister cafes Diesel and Bloc? Read on for our interview with our awesome Executive Pastry Chef Marissa Rossi.
Tell us about your journey to where you are now as a Pastry Chef. Have you always had a passion for baking?
Looking back I guess I have always had a passion for baking but never really knew it. I always baked with my mom when I was a kid. When I got older to do it on my own I would experiment and it was always a disaster! I never thought about this as a career until going into my senior year of high school. Up until then I wanted to be a music teacher. I was in band and chorus all my life. I woke up one day and decided I didn’t want to be a music teacher anymore and I was split between photography and baking and pastry. I got into Johnson and Wales and decided I was going to do baking. I never did great in high school and I believe my parents thought I wouldn’t graduate! Once I found my niche in pastry I did well, was on dean list every semester and graduated with honors.
What are you favorite things to bake/make & why?
I love making ice cream! The base is so versatile, you can flavor it with almost anything! That and soft serve is hands down one of my favorite things to eat!
What’s something that is surprisingly easy to make? Surprisingly difficult?
I personally think there isn’t anything easy about baking. You really need to pay attention to what you are doing, once ingredients are mixed you can’t go back. It’s not like cooking where you can fix your mistakes by adding something else into the pot to rebalance flavors. You make a mistake; like too much baking powder and you need to throw the batch out and start over.
I think that people think bread is an easy thing to make. It’s usually only 4 ingredients, but there is so much science behind it. One little factor can contribute to your bread not working out; like water temp is too high (kills your yeast) or the protein content in your flour is too high or too low, this provided structure or can work against you making it tough if the protein is too high. Even mixing time makes a difference.
That’s why I leave that job to Nick the Bread Doctor!
What’s your favorite kitchen tool?
Hmm, this is a hard question, I would have to say a rubber spatula! It drives me nuts when I can scrape a bowl clean. I do love my piping tips as well – you know when you use them the end product will be something very pretty.
If you were a Forge menu item, what would you be?
I would totally be the Cardamom latte, I was wicked excited when I saw this on the menu. I’m obsessed with cardamom!
Last thing you ate?
Actually the last thing I ate was the Atlas (Forge sandwich) with no tomato.
What’s your favorite part about working at Forge?
The people! Everyone is very nice and friendly and they seem to have a genuine sense of concern for you. There is a huge sense of community and family among coworkers, which creates a very pleasant atmosphere to work in.
Best thing you’ve eaten recently?
Cream cheese stuffed fried olives at Steel & Rye in Milton and the fried chicken from Rosebud.
Last, but not least, what’s your spirit animal?
I have no idea what my spirit animal would be!