She is quiet, shy and a little goofy, but tie on her apron, fasten that blonde ponytail on top of her head and Chef Alice Townsend comes to life! As most of you know, I am not much of a sugar addict, but when you watch this girl create a masterpiece you can think of nothing else but putting some in your mouth!
Unwilling to let go of her passion for cooking or pastry making, this work-hard, play-hard culinary artist does it all! Alice is Head Pastry Chef and Sous Chef of the Bear Lake Reserve kitchen, and most recently an aspiring business owner. It’s not only about creating desserts and pastries for the club, but she is personally requested by most couples getting married at Bear Lake to design their wedding cakes as well.
But cooking and baking wasn’t something she just stumbled into, her journey with food began at a very young age. Years before ‘Farm-to-Table’ was all the rage, Alice grew up observing the purest form of that phrase. From their vegetable gardens, cow pastures and chicken coops, her family was almost completely self-sustaining. Learning the true meaning and value of putting fresh local food on the table with grandparents who defined the term “From Scratch”. For instance, if you wanted chicken and dumplings for dinner the first step was to head out to the coop and slaughter a chicken. To young Alice, this was simply how you made dinner, but to her childhood friends, it was a unique experience that has likely never been forgotten!
Always more than just a way of life, that family kitchen became the heart and soul of how and why she has found so much success. Her patient and mindful Grandmother who first helped those tiny, flour covered hands reach the counter, paved the way to future inspirations.
That influence has taken shape in many ways, but you will often hear Alice talk about how she recreated Granny’s signature German Chocolate Cake. A very special feature on the Bear Lake menu during peak seasons. Ask what makes it unique and she will have your mouth watering in seconds! Just imagine the sweet smell of chocolate filling the house, forget the cooling rack, you want to eat it the second it comes out of the oven. Enter Alice and her Granny, this cake is drenched in warm frosting straight from the stovetop just minutes after baking. A decadent and indulgent kind of sweet that is meant to be enjoyed immediately. How could anyone say no to that?
Today, she works alongside Executive Chef Josh Sutton. It was actually Josh who asked that we focus this article on Alice and it is easy to understand why. Not only have the two worked together at Bear Lake for the past 7 years, but they have been side-by-side creating sweet and savory combinations for the better part of two decades!
A self-proclaimed introvert, Alice initially had reservations about being put on center stage. However, 20 minutes into the shoot, she found her groove and made it so easy for me to capture the passion and dedication she puts into each and every dish she creates.
Now it’s time for Chef Alice to venture into the next phase of life. Filled with so much rich history, it only makes sense that she take all she has learned and share it with the world. Her business name awaits and a new chapter is just beginning. So needless to say, I am truly honored to be a part of her journey and can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
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