In love with pastries? Need to scroll through delicious photos of cake and cookies? Having trouble finding a recipe for a birthday cake? Look no further than our very own UChicago’s Rachel Sally. She is the author, photographer, and baker of La Pêche Fraîche, her food blog filled with mouth-watering photos of her delectable creations. Read on for an interview with the beautiful soul Rachel Sally.
When and why did you first start getting into baking?
My first foray into baking, as my over-used anecdote goes, was when I was five and received an EasyBake oven. I quickly became obsessed, as I am wont to do, and I thus caught the baking bug. I started getting more into it in high school, and that’s when I started the blog (on a whim!). Since starting the blog, my love and passion for the art of baking has only grown, and I often seek solace in flour and butter while stressed out.
What is your favorite dessert you’ve ever made?
My favorite dessert I’ve ever made has to be one of my layer cakes. A few come to mind. Most recently, the cake for my 3rd blog birthday, which was vanilla-almond and looked like a sprinkly ice cream sundae; the cake I made for my dad’s birthday, which was a modern black forest (think mocha, kirsch stewed cherries, cherry buttercream, chocolate cherry macarons, and lots of dark chocolate ganache); or, finally, the cake for my 2nd blog birthday—malted milk cake with Italian meringue buttercream which was, incidentally, also pink and sprinkly!
You’re not only a great chef, but also a great photographer. What makes a good “food” photo?
A good food photo is all about the lighting. You can use an iPhone camera these days and come out with remarkable photos—as long as you’ve got the light right. I prefer natural light, by a window, without much greenery outside to avoid pallid casts. I never use flash—it’s too harsh and casts unappetizing shadows. And finally, if you think it looks good, that’s what matters at the end of the day.
What are some of your favorite food blogs?
I follow too many food blogs to keep track. My top 3, however: Call me Cupcake!, Top With Cinnamon, and Love, Cake.
I noticed you frequently include poetry in your posts. What is your favorite poem?
My favorite poem… That’s tough. I’ll say this: my favorite poem is not written down, but rather constantly surrounding and inspiring me—it’s the movement, sound, and smells that come in and out of my life. It’s the images that pass in an instant but stick in my mind, unwavering, forever. It’s the indescribable and the ethereal and the utterly mean and plain, and it is erased and rewritten by the universe daily.
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