October 1, 2009

Mmm, pudding!

Mmm, pudding!

I know most of you know that I haven’t worked at a job for a long-ish time. That’s not to say I haven’t been working, it’s just been a bit unconventional. I left my beloved position as the long-time pastry chef at one of Vancouver’s most respected restaurants. And then I went to school, remember? Where I wrote that amazing business plan. It is more than fifty pages long, and so detailed! Filled with projections and dreams and numbers and spreadsheets (blech). So many of you supported me, encouraged me, believed in me and paid me to bake for you. Really, I cannot thank you enough. And while I was baking my head off and getting cold feet over having a business, our economy stumbled. Then I discovered a more nutritious way of eating and I began to not believe in what I was doing. It was sobering. And my conviction faltered, I no longer wanted to bake for a living! Because I cannot resist eating what I bake. When I bake, I eat baked goods all day long. It certainly doesn’t make me feel very good, but I didn’t know that for a long time. I had no idea what a reasonable consumption of sweets was – everyday was a celebration for me! A celebration of smooth, cold, creamy, sugar-crunchy créme brûlée for breakfast with a double espresso, one or two or an even dozen warm, straight-out-of-the-oven cookies, spoonfuls of freshly churned ice cream and sorbet, another coffee to keep the sugar crash at bay, mmm – a chocolate cream cheese brownie and, okay, just one more, cake tops and crumbles and sticky toffee, sample this, try that, one more scoop of marsala sabayon – so good and loaded with vanilla bean, ugh – I should eat an apple, ooh – my favourite, favourite chocolate – I’ll take an extra measure to snack on while I’m making this chocolate terrine, better not have another coffee, I never have coffee after three o’clock, I think it makes me jumpy.

Somewhere in there I became passionate about running and working out. I met the Parkside Runners and together we created our own made-up version of clean eating. Baking was out! I detoxed. I had to completely walk away from desserts, it was extreme. It had to be extreme because my eating, as described, was extreme. I know it must sound unbelievable but some days were like that. Some were better, some were worse. After my workday I would cook a healthy dinner and almost always have dessert afterwards. I briefly considered the idea of a healthy bakery but soon realized that, while I love experimenting in the kitchen, I didn’t want to base a business on experimental baking. One thing led to another, Baker’s Balance sprouted from I hardly know where, and through my friend Houtan (thank-you Houtan) I landed a brand spanking-new job. It is still in food, I will always work in the food and restaurant industry. I love food, the culture of food, the hospitality of food. I love to cook for my friends. An ideal day for me is spent in the kitchen roasting, frying, baking, chopping, measuring, steaming, tasting and anticipating the arrival of friends. Food makes people happy and can solve a lot of problems. Don’t you agree?

This unexpectedly long-winded explanation is to let you know that, due to shiny-new job, my dear blog must be calibrated. Rebalanced, if you will. I will no longer have the time to post every week day. I have decided to post on Mondays and Thursdays. Does that sound good? Will you still visit? I promise there will not be another post as wordy as this one. I love my blog. It allows me to cook and bake and experiment. I enjoy fussing and styling the food and taking its photo. I find inspiration in sharing ideas and concocting recipes. It is almost, not quite, the same having friends over for dinner, only I guess you don’t get to eat what I make and I don’t have to tidy the house. But it suits me in many ways. So you must stay tuned. I am looking forward to fall and winter and all the good and good-for-you things there are to cook when the weather turns crisp and dark and wet. It is the best time of year for steaming up the kitchen, dialing up the oven and having a pot on the stove to simmer the day away.

I am both thrilled and freaked about my new job. It’s off to work I go!


13 Responses to “Heigh-Ho!”

  1. court e nay said

    good luck with your full time job. I will miss the healthy food updates and inviting myself over for dinner based on your blog.
    we will always have parkside runners

  2. Dad said

    I had said years ago, when you received accolades for your baking, that what you were doing {cooking/baking] was not just you doing it for yourself, but for others to enjoy, was very giving. You may think your life style is changing, it’s growing and you benefit everyone around you. Your new job will be a great success and every one around will benefit. No one has ever said to give it your all, you just do! Love dad.

  3. jevanshead said


    Your dad is right. You are the most generous person I know, those that know you benefit not only from your “mad skillz” but more so from the bright light that shines from within you. You will undoubtedly do amazing with your new job.


  4. Julie said

    I am so excited for your new adventure (and I look forward to reaping the benefits of your new position: “Do you know who I am?!?”). You are going to kill it! Because that is just what you do. You’re amazing.

  5. june said

    Dawne! 2 days a week are far, far better than none in my books. Your new adventure is going to be amazing and I cannot wait to catch-up on life & share more stories about our recent vacations.

  6. katie huitson said

    Giodawnies is lucky to have you!! And I agree with all of the above…you have “mad skilz”, 2 blogs a week are certainly better than none and you are amazing!!
    xoxoxo k
    ps. and at least Long’s is open weekends..phew…

  7. dawnegourley said

    Thanks everyone! Courtney, why will you stop inviting yourself over? Dad, you’re the best cheerleader ever! Jay, “mad skillz”? Nice. I like that. I will put it on a future CV. Julie, I’ll make sure everyone knows who you are. Thanks June – I can’t wait to hear about Paris – I hope you ate lotsa macarons. And Katie, praise be for you and Long’s.

  8. Holly said

    Of course I will still visit your blog. I love it and have been telling everyone I know to go to your blog. Good luck with your new job. I can’t wait to come and visit you there.

  9. Shannon said

    Good luck with the new job! A couple posts a week will give me time to try them all. A friend turned me on to your blog. It’s wonderful – inspiring, beautiful and delicious. I’ve been eating bbq’d figs for the last month!
    Thanks, Shannon

  10. Glo said

    Beautiful Dawne – we love your blog and sending our congratulations and best wishes on your new job – we know you will be successful – have fun – Glo & Ron

  11. pam said

    Man, you are always such an overachiever, never able to just do one thing well, always at least 4. I love your blog, I am happy for 2 entries/week. I adore bragging about it and telling people who have certain diets how amazing the recipes are, how talented you are, how entertaining your blogs are and how fantastic the photos are…oh it just went back to this being about me. I am glad you have time to keep it going, just take some time for yourself too. 🙂

  12. JenG said

    I feel so fortunate to know such an inspirational, talented and driven individual like you Dawne.
    I can’t thank you enough for the delicious treats, healthy recipes, and inspiration you have provided over the past 2 years. No doubt you are going to kick some serious “Giodawnie” butt in your new venture. You are an incredible asset to their team (and Team Parkside of course). As we depart for Victoria tomorrow, I just have to say,
    you are A-MAZING!

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