Ever wondered who’s behind the delicious dishes? Here’s your chance to get to know the masters of grilling, the best of the bakers, and the kings and queens of Edmonton’s food scene.
Welcome to Chefs, Uncensored.
Duchess Bake Shop has been around since 2009 and is one of 124 Street’s staple foodie havens. All items are made daily in-house…from scratch. There are over 20 pastry chefs in the Duchess kitchen, so this interview was put together as a collaboration from the whole team, with pastry chef Kerri Stennes as a representative.
How would you describe your baking style?
The baking style at Duchess is mainly French inspired, but we also include some popular Canadian favorites.
What’s your food/shop philosophy?
Our philosophy is that there are no shortcuts to making good quality product. For us, that means using the best quality ingredients we can find, and making everything by hand in small batches, in house, every day. Those basic techniques allow us to maintain the freshest and best products.
What inspired you to become a chef?
Being able to bake a pie from scratch, give it to a friend or neighbour and then seeing the joy that it brought is what made me realize my dream was to become a pastry chef. Working at Duchess has brought that dream to a new level because everyone on our team is so passionate about creating memorable experiences through pastry. I have learned that baking is a great art; it requires careful attention to detail and a steady hand!
What’s the first thing you ate that made you realize food was an important part of culture?
A blueberry muffin in my grandmother’s kitchen. From a young age I knew that food had the power to bring people together. My mother was always encouraging us to help out with dinner or baking, and I have fond memories of sharing that time with her. It was great watching the family enjoying our food over multiple conversations.
What’s your favourite wine and what do you like to pair it with?
My favorite wine is a rich, Spanish Rioja paired with a goat cheese blanc mange and muddled blackberries.
What do you think is Edmonton’s next big innovative ingredient?
I don’t think it is one particular ingredient. Edmonton is realizing the potential of using high quality, local ingredients. Any ingredient can be innovative when you experience how unique its flavour is and feel inspired to create a dessert around it.
Why should people visit your bake shop?
We’re trying to create an elegant, cosmopolitan environment full of amazing people and world class food – it’s a unique experience.
Duchess Bake Shop
10718 124 Street
Edmonton, AB T5M 0H1