I was born with a sweet tooth no dentist could ever cure. When planning dinner parties, I always thought about dessert first. Even my fantasies were all about pastry. Oh sure, eating the darned stuff was satisfying, but what I really craved couldn’t be found in a bite of a brownie or a mouthful of mousse.
Alas, nice fashion sales executives didn’t think like that. During my workday, I oohed and ahhed over Prada, Gucci, Dolce and
Gabbana, just like the rest of my colleagues. I did this for 20 years. But my heart belonged to Valrhona, Lindt and Scharffen Berger. I wasn’t getting a thrill from selling dresses anymore to stores like Neiman Marcus I wanted to sell CAKE to stores like Neiman Marcus!
So, in 2003, at age 50, I bid farewell to glamorous Seventh Avenue. I traded in my Manolos for kitchen clogs, and enrolled in The French Culinary Institute’s Pastry Arts Program. I knew I needed proper training. I knew how to bake, but culinary school was an important part of retraining myself to think like a professional, instead of a home cook. And, having completed the program with flying colors added to my ‘street cred’. Then I went to work in a few bakeries, to learn how to really get streamline my movements in the kitchen and get my speed up so I could really crank out the product.
Doing it My Way
Along the way, I learned what not to do, as well as what to do in a business. And, because I came from an industry where aesthetics were key, I felt I had great color and pattern sense, which could easily be translated into creating baked goods that knock your socks off before the hit the taste buds and score a home run. I worked and I interned; I interned and I worked, baking my beloved confections until I was ready to do it my way. My way: cakes and cupcakes adorned with hand-decorated cookies. A rock’em sock’em culinary assault on the senses. Now I design and create all the cookies that decorate my cakes and cupcakes, and handle all the sales. In my former life, I gave sales presentations to small boutiques as well as to the top brass of stores like Neiman Marcus, so I’m not afraid to actually ‘sell’ what I make. That’s a tremendous asset, because it’s actually much more difficult to sell your very own product than someone else’s.
About the Author
Gail Dosik of One Tough Cookie worked in the fashion industry for 20 years. At age 50 she decided to leave and follow her passion to become a Confectionary Artist. She enrolled in The French Culinary Institute graduating at the top of her class. She never had an art class in her life! Everything she bakes is incorporated with cookies and custom designed. Her treats are sooooo delish! You have to check out some of her designs: http://onetoughcookienyc.com. She ships cookies all over the country. She can also come to your home in her local NYC area and teach you how to make delish cookies with a 3 hour class!