A love of music has inspired Calgary pastry chef Chelsea Radke to combine two of her favourite things into a small business she loves.
Having grown up on a farm and graduated from the SAIT baking and pastry arts program, she now teaches continuing education classes and kids’ pastry at the SAIT summer cooking camps.
She does that during the week while running her own business, Black Dog Bakery, at the Marda Loop and Millarville markets on weekends.
“I just love music. It’s a big part of my life,” Radke says.
“For me, the only thing that came close was pastry. I have that same sort of release and connection to pastry. I really just wanted to connect the two and make them jive together.”
Her whimsical, Instagram-worthy cakes, swirled with pale rosettes or loaded with sprinkles and bordered with intensely-coloured buttercream, are popular. But she also makes her own baking kits for those who want to start almost from scratch.
The buttercream is also for sale by the tub for those who haven’t mastered the art of making it yet.
For those looking to upgrade from Duncan Hines, her cake kits include a cake board, piping bag and tip, and are customizable. You choose the flavour, mix-ins, toppers and design.
She even made a batch of Justin-Trudeau-shaped-and-decorated sugar cookies to share with the prime minister when he stopped in at the Marda Loop market during his Stampede visit.
In her regular repertoire, each cookie, cake and tub of frosting is inspired by or named after a song or band. The Black Betty cake kit and Mothers’ Little Helper cookie kit are instantly recognizable, but others are subtle enough that visitors perusing her booth take a few minutes to make the connection.