Pastry Chef Keli Marks
Is the author of LKNConnect’s newest column, Sweet ReMarks. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit her shop, Bakery 28 and speak with her about the art of baking.
“I believe in using the finest ingredients — organic where possible. I utilize [ingredients from] local farmers to make high quality desserts.” — Pastry Chef Keli Marks
Let’s see the cake! Making occasions extra special
Chef Marks uses local pecans, honey, fresh milled flour, and edible flowers to create her pastries and cakes. She believes in taking care of each client and treating them like a VIP. “My desserts [especially when its a cake] are the most important part of the occasion — ‘Let’s see the cake!’ — is what you’ll hear most,” she says smiling. She believes that the dessert can make a special occasion magical.
Why Lake Norman?
Chef Marks first visited Charlotte as an assistant to Pastry Chef Mark Seaman many years ago. He was here to take his Master Cake Designer exam. He passed his exam and she fell in love with the area. Originally from Chicago, she loves the fact that the seasons are longer here and the winters milder. Her first job here was as the Executive Pastry Chef for the Ballatyne Hotel. Then she and her family bought a house on the lake in Cornelius, where she started baking cakes out of her home. That’s when she started planning her own bakery.
March 9, 2020 opening, just before the COVID restrictions hit
After planning for a year and completing the build-out, Bakery 28 opened on March 9th of this year in the plaza near the Good Will store. (The same location that used to be Maddy’s Fatty’s.) It was exactly one week before the shutdown. Fortunately for all of us pastry lovers, their ovens are working and their shop doors are open again.
The triple threat collection: vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free
In addition to pastries, tarts, macarons, cakes, and more — Chef Marks has a dedicated collection of cupcakes, tarts, and cobblers using a variety of gluten-free flours. (Any gluten-free cupcake can be made as a cake for a special occasion.) Cakes come in banana, vanilla, chocolate, raspberry, coconut, and snickerdoodle.
Working hard to make it look easy
Chef Marks typically works 12 to 17 hour shifts. It’s important to her to make the baking and the shop magical. She describes it like theater:
“The show begins at 9 am when we open the door.”
Would you like to see more?
Click here to see all of Chef Marks columns here at LKNConnect.
Ellen Stafford is the Managing Editor for LKNConnect.com. A resident of Cornelius for over 20 years, she loves the area and its people. (Well, maybe not the traffic…) Well-versed in computers and tech, she also enjoys photography, gardening, and cooking.
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