The Takeaway: Jenn Reisman Turns Ideas and Inspiration Into Custom Pastries

Courtesy of Jenn Reisman
Name: Jenn Reisman
Job/Title: Owner, Rooster Crow Baking Co.
Birthplace: Richardson, Texas
Years in food service: 13
Big impact: Pastry chef for the Fairmont Hotel, creates custom desserts and wedding cakes
Money quote: “My favorite thing to make is money, or custom cakes.”
Where to follow: Instagram @roostercrowbaking

Tell us about your background and how you got where you are?
I’ve always worked in baking and pastry, but before I started my own business, I was working with boutique hotels and high-end restaurants. I was part of the opening team for Hotel Emma, I was a pastry chef for a five-star property in Virginia, I worked at Omni La Mansion and the Watermark Hotel and I spent time in Austin at restaurants. I eventually veered off into doing custom orders and wedding cakes.

Did you go to culinary school or are you self-taught?
I went to a tech school in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2007, where I earned my baking and pastry tech certificate. If you’re trying to be an artisan, there’s no reason to get yourself in debt to do it. I’ve never seen a big difference between someone with a certificate and years of experience and someone with a degree.

What’s your favorite thing to make these days and why?
My favorite thing to make is money, or custom cakes. I love taking people’s ideas and inspiration and turning them into something you can see and smell and taste.

What’s your secret weapon at work?
No one is allowed to touch my scissors and offset spatula.

Who was the mentor that had the biggest effect on your career?
John Ward. We’ve worked together on- and-off for the past 10 years. Not only has he given me guidance and support over the years, but he taught me a lot about savory cooking, something that definitely makes me stand out. In this industry, you take care of each other. When you come up, you take your people with you.

What do you bake at home?
I stick to the savory side of pastries with things like biscuits and gravy and meat pies. If I ever had an entire afternoon to cook whatever I wanted, I’d just make a giant bowl of chili and cornbread.

What’s next for you?
The goal is to create a business that can support other bakers, because the more they learn the more they grow and the more the community will grow. I’ve been known as Jenn Reisman the individual for so long, it’s exciting to let people know about Rooster Crow Baking Co. I’m getting the word out about my custom orders — wedding cakes, pies and mini banana tarts. I’ll be hosting pop-up events throughout San Antonio, including the March 14 (National Pi Day) pop-up at Attagirl’s for my pies.

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