I want to welcome all of you into getting a glimpse into my life. Well the parts of my life that are centered on my two passions: Pastry and Pinup! What a fabulous and perfect pairing! I mean what is better than delicious cheesecake with strawberries on top and Cheesecake gals dressed in delightful vintage confections? Not a whole lot in my opinion.
I suppose since I have gotten this sweet induced blog started, some introductions are in order. My name is Angela Bailey, but here at Pinup and Pastry I transform into my Cheesecake Doll persona, Bonnie Bailey! Why Bonnie Bailey some of you may ask and if you weren’t thinking that, well you’re going to find out anyway. The first reason is Betsy Bon Bon was already taken. She is a Burlesque dancer from England and is mighty cute, so I am not mad that dame beat me to that name. The second reason is I adore alliterations and I think I am being cleaver by using one that has part of my name in it. Finally the third reason is, life is beautiful, so why not have a name that projects beauty is a quick simple exclamation.
I must confess that it is an unusual feeling for me to talk about myself, as I am a person who is “in her head” a lot. I consider myself an introvert for the most part. I value my alone time and I do not feel compelled to share why I do the things I do, or believe the things I believe. It has taken me years to come to that place of being, where the only person I have to explain myself to is, myself. That being said, I do love sharing knowledge. I enjoy teaching, guiding, and leading others to explore their world. It is a wonderful feeling for me, which is one of the reasons why I have worked so hard to be a pastry chef. I love my profession. It is complex, hands on, challenging, and rewarding. It brings me great joy to see and taste a delicious product as the result of my labor.
While my main goal is to tie my interest in pinup to my pastry career, I also want to shed a little light to would be culinarians of what working in a professional kitchen is really like. It is not glamorous, it is not cute, and it is not what is seen on the food, travel, or cooking network. The life of a cook consists of long hours, under paid wages and salaries, and non-stop repetitive tasks. It is very rare that I work less than fifty hours a week and that is a good week. As a chef I enjoy some of the creative control that is often associated with the food world. I write menus for events and seasons. As well as creating recipes and plate design. I get to put a little of myself into my work because as a chef I am in a position of management and because I have “paid my dues” as a cook.
The career I have chosen is considered by most who work in it to be stressful physically and emotionally. It has been incredibly trying and for me the last year and is a real test of my faith so to say. While all the Monday thru Friday job holders take to the town on the weekends, I am directing a team to give the best experience to those folks. It is important to me to give the best experience I can to them because it is what I would want in their place and I am passionate about food. It is a bitter sweet feeling because I long to be one of those folks out there having fun on weekends with the people I care about. My heart aches for it, but I am addicted to creating and expanding my knowledge. The ability to create gives a powerful feeling. There are few things more satisfying and fulfilling than seeing the fruits of my labor after much toiling and sacrifice. Not to mention that some of my most vivid memories are tied to specific smells and flavors. It is awe inspiring. In all, the life if a culinary worker is not for everyone and even the most dedicated need a break from it. Hopefully, I can give you all a new perspective and sense of respect for the culinary world.
Now that I have gotten some of those thoughts out of the way, some of you may be wondering how a hard core pastry chef can be a hyper feminine pin up girl. Well the answer is: PIN UP IS HARD CORE AND PUNK AS HELL! I mean really, modern pin up takes the fashion and grooming techniques of by gone eras- techniques that were often associate with antiquated rules on how a woman should behave in a man’s world- and applies them to modern self-expression. By dressing as a pin up I am making a statement to Eff modern beauty standards and doing what I damn well feel like. I also feel that pin up has given me a platform to love my self. The time spent primping and preening is a simple way for me to devote time to myself and my thoughts. I think it’s funny that some of my best revelations have come to me while I am going about my routine. It is very meditative and therapeutic for me. When I put on my makeup, I like to think to myself that I am a great Amazonian warrior applying war paint. I am ready to conquer my day and slay my enemies… With my fabulousness! There is a whole heap of emotions that can come with a well painted face and perfectly coiffed hair. One being “damn gurl, you fleek as fuck!” Whatever it is, when I am Bonnie Bailey I am reflecting and highlighting the aspects of my being that I am most proud of.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really took hold of my inner pin-up. For most of my life, I felt awkward physically and mentally. I was a chubby art and band student. I was more cerebral than most of my class mates and devoted much of my time to dungeons and dragons. I knew I was smart, but I wasn’t terribly interested in going to a four year college so I farted around playing video games instead of doing my homework. Needless to say High school left a bad taste in my mouth in regards to what people can be like (including myself) and I was determined to hold on to those feelings. I mean after all most of us have an awfully confusing time in the “heart of darkness” that is being a teenager. Things began to change when I started culinary school. I had more independence and I was going to school to do something I wanted to do. I was able to devote more time to myself and my relationship with my boyfriend which was a big confidence booster. At culinary school I met some of the best friends that I have ever had or will have in my life. It was after I graduated from Triton College and the French Pastry school that I had a revelation. By doing what I wanted to do with my life and ignoring haters/ naysayers I achieved so much in a short period of time. It seems like it should have been obvious from the get go, but I realized that the only person whose thoughts have power over my life is me! It is much easier to enjoy life when feeling empowered versus feeling like you own an explanation to everyone. And now that I feel good about myself over all, it is much easier for me to show myself and others.
Hopefully by giving a glimpse of who I am and why I find pin up and pastry so important, I can connect with folks. The personal reason for this blog is to act as reminder why I fell in love with culinary and to provide motivation to keep going when it feels like I am drowning in the stress of work. For my readers, I want to inspire and educate. I hope this blog can be used as a tool to build, create, and enjoy. Should you find that I have piqued your interest please come on back. For now I plan on updating this blog once every two weeks minimum, more if my job affords me a little more time. I am eager to get the ball rolling on this project and I welcome your feedback by asking questions of giving ideas. Thank you for taking the time to check me out, and see you folks soon!