909 17th Street
This is part one of my interview with Amy Sayles, pastry chef of Panzano; part two of our chat will run tomorrow.
"Baking is just part of my family's culture," declares Amy Sayles, a native of Orange County who spent her childhood soaking up sugar, an early precursor to her position as pastry chef at Panzano. "I think I started baking when I was around three, and I remember having cookie bakes every year, plus my grandmother had a bakery in Germany, so it definitely runs in the family," says Sayles, whose first journey into the professional world of confections came when she was sweet sixteen and spinning shakes at a retro diner. "I was the designated fountain girl," she quips. But while the job started out as an after-school pastime, it quickly turned into an experimental playground: "I loved creating new flavors and having fun with different flavor combinations, and without my really knowing it at the time, it was a sign of things to come."
See also: Chef and Tell: Elise Wiggins of PanzanoMore »