“We hope this is something we can come back to year after year because it shouldn’t just happen this year,” pastry chef Paola Velez said in an interview with Eater. “When we say, ‘Black lives matter,’ we shouldn’t just say it once. We should keep on shouting it from the rooftops until true, effective change happens. Until my life matters.”
Velez is the executive pastry chef of Kith and Kin (and also runs Doña Dona DC). With fellow D.C.-based pastry chefs Willa Lou Pelini and Rob Rubba—of Emelie's and Scrappy's Bagel Bar, respectively—they launched Bakers Against Racism on June 4. This week-long, virtual bake sale has rallied thousands—from home cooks to furloughed chefs—across the country, baking and (safely!) handing-off treats.
This Sunday, all participants will donate the majority (some are pledging all, others are matching two to one) of their proceeds to a social organization combating racism. These include, but are not limited to, Black Lives Matter, Black Visions Collective. The Okra Project, and Trans Women of Color Collective.
Depending on your location, you could still have until Saturday to support your local baker—and contribute to the building of an antiracist culture. And you get a treat! Check out the bakers below, and find more participants near you with #BakersAgainstRacism. And be sure to follow the organizers at @BakersAgainstRacism.
Velez’s baked up a strawberry passion fruit buckle, to be sold alongside a piña colada cake by Chef DeAndra Bailey, and a chocolate-studded banana bread by Chef Nikkie Rodriguez. All the proceeds will be going to Black Lives Matter D.C..
Pelini is offering uber-luxe sundaes (think: milk chocolate and vanilla frozen custard topped with honey roasted peanuts, coconut-pandan ice cream gilded with toasted coconut, and marshmallow ice cream topped with hot fudge and graham dust). All of Pelini’s proceeds will be going to Mamato Village.
Rubba’s got breakfast covered—grab a loaf of zucchini bread, some chocolate chunk brioche, or a cherry scone. (Or all. Or 10 of each.) All of Rubba’s proceeds will be going to Black Lives Matter D.C., Common Good City Farm, and D.C. UrbanGreens.
“Bite-size mail-order blondies” reads Auzerais Bellamy’s bio—short, sweet, and to the point. A classically trained pastry chef that baked at Bouchon, then Per Se, Daniel, and The French Laundry, Bellamy now focuses her efforts on a blondie-only bakery (“blondery,” get it). 50 percent of her sales this week will be going to Equal Justice Initiative.
Furry friends should get in on the action too. 100 percent of sales of Maison de Pawz’s limited-run dog treats will go towards The Loveland Foundation.
Chelsea Kravitz, a baker and chef based in Glen Head, N.Y., and Erin Clarkson, an Aussie baker in Brooklyn, have teamed up to offer a delightful array of goodies: sourdough cinnamon buns, sourdough strawberry rhubarb crumb buns, cardamom ginger sandwich cookies, and brown butter oat cookies to name a few. Proceeds from their joint sales will go to The Okra Project.
This D.C.-based blogger is baking up a slew of treats from her site, Buttermilk by Sam. There are blueberry curd bars, milk bread babka rolls, and chunky, nutty, oaty cookies. 80 percent of the proceeds will be going to Black Mamas Matter Alliance.
From L.A.-based, meringue-centric Josephine Bakery, find not only their signature voluminous fairytale-esque meringues, but over 200 pies baked by over 50 local chefs. All of the proceeds will go to the local Black Lives Matter chapter.
A collection of Portland, Ore.-based bakers and bloggers—@oliveandartisan, @evakosmasflores, @stshasteen, @bakingthegoods, @hummingbirdhigh, @cosetteskitchen, and @chezlarae—will be selling their goodies (cake cups, gooey bars, cupcakes, strawberry cookies, farina cake, jam, ‘say her name’ bracelets!) at local high school Roosevelt High’s baseball field. All proceeds will be going towards Black Food Sovereignty Coalition.
Zoe Kanan and Dianna Daoheung are putting their very brilliant baking noggins together, and will be selling Jamaican beef patties and strawberry-glazed pound cakes (inspired by fellow activist baker Georgia Gilmore at the Black Seed Bagels Nolita location this Saturday. All proceeds will be going to The Black Feminist Project.
Also, me! If you can’t pick up here in N.Y.C., I’m also doing (distanced!) drop-offs and shipping orders. On offer: coconutty mochi cake with red bean, buckwheat cake topped with a hojicha mousse, M&M cookies, sourdough loaves, and salty coffee-buttercream frosted brownies. Proceeds will be going to Black Visions Collective.
Yesterday, I asked Velez how she was feeling about it all—and where she hopes the bake sale will go after this week ends. “I feel like this is a beautiful way to help people and to get folks to use their baked goods as a form of protest,” she said.
“What makes me so happy is to hear and read the messages from participants once they’ve sold out,” she continued. “Home bakers feel validated. Before this, it was like, ‘I don’t know if I can participate’—but now they see how easy it is to raise funds for a good cause.”
She’s right: I’m thinking of now doing a virtual bake sale like this monthly, donating to a different organization each time—maybe you’ll join me?
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