Tattered Cover Book Store's Reviews > Confections of a Closet Master Baker: One Woman's Sweet Journey from Unhappy Hollywood Executive to Contented Country Baker

Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado
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's review
Sep 07, 2009

bookshelves: jackie-recommends, staff-recommends

Jackie says:

This book had me at it's very short but very memorable first paragraph: "I saw the devil at the age of three and he gave me chocolate. It changed my life forever."

Gesine (pronounced geh see neh--don't mess it up because it makes her crazy when you do) had a glamourous Hollywood life running a production company with her sister Sandra Bullock. Red carpets, "doing" lunch, meetings and schmoozing made up her daily life. And she was miserable. To make herself feel better, she turned to an old love, pastries. Specifically, making, even inventing, them. When, in a meeting, she referred to casting a movie as being like finding the right spices for an apple pie, she knew it was time to get out.

She and her husband Rick Prado (a movie illustrator and barista extraordinaire) fell in love with Vermont and decided to make it their home. They found an old general store, gutted it and it became
"Gesine's". It opened on Aug 4, 2004 to lines longer than anyone could have imagined thanks to a casual mention of the fabulous French macaroons Gesine makes (which are almond, not coconut) in an interview in In Style magazine. Well, that and the fact that Sandy manned the register that first day. Gesine stayed in the back, being a self proclaimed "socially retarded misanthrope", and followed her passion for baking. They might have come the first time to see a movie star. They kept coming back because Gesine is a magician with flour and sugar and chocolate.

Her passion comes through in her book as well. There are fantastic recipes in it, but it's the reasons and rememeberances, the stories and the history that really make this book something special. Gesine is rather blunt at times, but I actually admired her for her honesty and her wit. This is a book about the importance of baking, the love and
intention that goes into it all. It's also about the importance of sitting down with people, especially people you love, and enjoying fine things with one another in the middle of our too hectic lives. It's both a fantastic read and a fantastic cookbook--I highly recommend this book!
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