Baking with the Seasons: An Interview with Yossy Arefi

Photo courtesy Yossy Arefi

What is your biggest baking success?

YA: I baked desserts for a friend’s wedding a couple of summers ago, and I had never baked at home on such a large scale before. I made wedding cakes when I worked at the bakery, but I had never baked for that many people from a home kitchen at once. I made these tarts filled with mascarpone, pastry cream, and fresh raspberries with big fluffy pillows of meringue on top. They looked so beautiful all lined up together on the dessert table.

What is your go-to baked good?

YA: Pie—no question. Fruit pies are so beautiful and tasty—a perfect combination of crisp, buttery crust and sweet, tart fruit. Don’t forget the ice cream!

Cherry and Rhubarb Slab Pie / Photo courtesy Yossy Arefi

How has your blog, Apt. 2B Baking Co., developed over the past few years?

YA: Blogging has become a much bigger industry than when I started my site. I used to consider it to be more of a hobby, but now it’s definitely part of my job. I devote a lot of time, effort, and energy to making interesting content that will stand out, which can be hard because there are so many blogs now. Even though I have been at it for a long time, I still want to make interesting content people are drawn to. 

I think the visuals of my blog are different from what’s out there. I still shoot all my photography for Apt. 2B Baking Co. solely with film, which is pretty rare. That’s been important to me because it’s not always possible to shoot my professional work with film for a number of reasons.

Lemon Verbena Olive Oil Cake / Photo courtesy Yossy Arefi

What is your favorite thing to listen to while baking?

YA: Podcasts. I’m a big fan of NPR’s Fresh Air series and Radio Lab. There’s a new podcast called Reply All I recently started listening to and love.

How would you like for Sweeter off the Vine to inspire those who bake from it?

YA: I hope readers are inspired to bake with the seasons. There are so many beautiful things in every season, even in winter, to bake with. I hope they’re inspired to visit their local market to see what’s fresh, and go home to make some delicious dessert. 

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