Allie: How did you become a professional pastry chef?
Dana: I started baking when I was 5 years old with my Easy Bake Oven, which was one of my first Hanukkah gifts. I continued to bake for my friends, and started blogging about baking and creating new recipes. I then went to school for culinary arts and hospitality management.
Allie: What do you love the most about baking?
Dana: The joy and happiness that baking can bring other people is what I love the most about it. Dessert is obviously such a sweet thing, and seeing someone light up over a creation made from raw ingredients is so enjoyable
Allie: What’s your favorite thing to bake?
Dana: Laminated doughs and breads like croissants, or danishes. I also love baking challah. And the classics like apple pies, banana cream pies, and cookies. It’s hard to pick just one!
Allie: Do you have any foodie role models?
Dana: Again, I can’t pick one. Growing up, I always watched Hell’s Kitchen with my dad and Gordon Ramsay really inspired me. I also admire Christina Tosi, her Milk Bar empire is huge and blossoming. Oh, and Belinda Leong, she owns b.patisserie in San Francisco and her pastries are amazing. Also Carla Hall, she’s a DC native and I worked with her in college.
Allie: What is your favorite Jewish holiday?
Dana: Hanukkah is 8 days of fun and celebration, good food, and spending time with family and friends. I don’t live with Jewish people, but I’ve been trying to practice the traditions with my roommates. We’ll light the menorah together every night, and being able to share that with them has been really special.
Allie: How would you spend a totally free day in the city?
Dana:I’d wake up and go to Philz for coffee, then get a massage at Deluca. There are so many hidden gems in DC that I don’t even realize are here. So, I would go exploring, find a new place to eat, and then meet up with friends and go see a comedy show, go bowling, or go to a sporting event.
Allie: What is your fantasy of your future baking career?
Dana: I’d love to move abroad and work under a big chef. Then, in 10 years my dream is to open my own place and call it Bloomies, like my last name.
Allie: Are Gather readers able to hire you to bake something for them?
Dana: Yes! Just contact me on Instagram. I can make vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, anything you want!
Allie: When Jews of DC Gather…
Dana: They laugh and eat good food.
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