Food & Drink: Chef conjures vegan, gluten-free goodies

first_imgRachel Pinsky can be emailed at [email protected] Follow her on Instagram @couveeats and @rachelapinsky and on Facebook @coueeats. Five years ago, after surviving a harrowing health crisis, JoJo Reily abandoned her career as a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef. She held a variety of jobs trying to decide what she would do next. One of those jobs was working at the Nature’s Wild Harvest booth at the Vancouver Farmers Market, where she noticed a lack of vegan and gluten-free treats (she had changed her own diet in response to her health problems).Reily decided to start Blackbird Alchemy Bakery to serve that niche. She felt confident she could come up with recipes for delicious treats but admits there was a learning process.“I think it’s intuition, you have the training but then you need intuition. I was nailing some recipes pretty quick,” she said. “Just like regular baking, certain things have to be chilled first or when you bake them they’ll be flat. Certain things when you combine them with other things do weird things. I learned that I have to watch out with my baking powder with the oat scones because when you have baking powder, when it mixes with other things, it can have an ammonia smell.”Reily explained the name for her bakery (Blackbird Alchemy) and the creation of its logo, “Blackbirds have always been my thing. It’s probably a spirit animal for me. And Alchemy is taking things and transforming them into something new so it all fit together. I painted my sign and just started painting on that and it all just came out.”She stocks muffins (like chocolate decadence, banana chocolate chip, apple cinnamon streusel), scones (like cranberry orange), tartlettes, and cookies (like double chocolate chip, chocolate peppermint, cherry chocolate coconut, walnut chocolate chip, peanut butter, almond jam-filled thumbprint, lemon crinkle, hazelnut tea cookies, and coconut macaroons) at her Vancouver Farmers Market booth. You can also find her treats at Wattle Tree Place.last_img

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