She doesn’t work behind the bar at thump, but she is always behind the scenes, keeping our thumpistas happy with special treats and making sure the performance on stage is beautiful and tastey! Janet has been a member of thump’s family since the beginning, brainstorming with me (Hazel) on a regular basis about seasonal baked goods to fill our case, and providing amazing spreads of cakes, cookies, cupcakes and chocolates for various Art Hops and private parties here at thump. (See images.)
A talented specialty cake baker by day, Janet’s The Bittersweet Kitchen also provides thump’s cupcakes, bars, coffeecakes, sweet breads, and specialty cookies. We’re so fortunate to have this exclusive relationship with The Bittersweet Kitchen!
Janet remembers baking in grade school, before learning how to cook anything else. “Nothing was hard,” she said. “You know how they say making a pie crust is hard? I didn’t know that.” She grew up eating very seasonally, as her grandmother’s farm was bountiful with varieties of apples, plums, cherries, pears, loganberries, raspberries, blackberries, filberts, and walnuts.
“A lot was going on in the kitchen, canning fruit, feeding and nurturing people.” And she continues to do that! Last week, she brought a berry tart baked in a shortbread crust for our thumpistas. Juicy, tart, in a delicious crust!
The Bittersweet Kitchen’s chocolate cake with praline espresso buttercream, draped in ganache with sugar tile accents, won “Best Use of Unique Ingredients” in the 2009 Tour de Chocolat at the Tour Theater. For the 2010 Tour de Chocolat, look for the Bittersweet Kitchen’s “Love of Oregon” cake, using ingredients originating from Oregon. The “Love of Oregon” is a chocolate fudge cake, dressed in ganache with Swiss meringue vanilla buttercream, and chocolate French buttercream. Janet shared, “I love the decoration of cakes. But it’s all about how it tastes first; it’s not just about the appearance. The taste and the beauty meet each other.”
Though The Bittersweet Kitchen specializes in truly gourmet — and sometimes whimsical — cakes for weddings, special events and parties, Janet loves the relationship she has developed at thump, as do we. “I want to work where it feels good and I’m treated well. You guys take care of my baked goods. To me it’s not just a banana bread I’ve baked 200 times. It’s REALLY good! And I appreciate the certain niche of quality that exists at thump.” And from our point of view, though we’ve served hundreds of slices of her banana bread, we appreciate that they have been made by hand, with the finest ingredients, only for thump customers.
Desserts from the Bittersweet Kitchen will be offered at thump during the Spring Art Hop, Fri. 4/2. Come join us and meet Janet! To learn more about the Bittersweet Kitchen, visit the website, or search “The Bittersweet Kitchen” on Facebook.