Pensacola, Florida
Sunday December 17th 2017

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Sweet, Sweet Freedom

With Jordan Hewes of George Artisan Bakery & Bistro

Creative liberty is what keeps Jordan Hewes, pastry chef at George Artisan Bakery & Bistro, on her toes when crafting the perfect pastry.

“Cooking and baking have always interested me,” Hewes said. “I baked a lot with my grandmother, who is known for her pies. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I seriously was considering it as my career path.”

Hewes graduated in only 15 months with a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I remember begging this great chef in town to give me a job,” she said. “I think I annoyed him to the point that he gave me the job so that I would stop coming in asking for one. Proof on Main in Louisville was where I spent my first two years in a real kitchen. I learned so many things, not just about pastry, but food itself. That’s the place where I would say that my career turned into an undeniable passion.”

Hewes then spent the next three years at a couple of different restaurants before moving to Pensacola.

“Meeting George and Luba was nothing short of fate,” Hewes said. “I was working at Perdido Beach Resort for my first two years here in Pensacola, but never had a chance to do much on the creative side of things. I have always dreamed of having my own place, but the time and opportunity has never presented itself. A friend had been browsing jobs on Craigslist and found a posting for an ‘experienced pastry chef.’  She sent it to me, and I thought it was too good to be true.”

Nonetheless, Hewes went for the job and interviewed in December 2014.

“I thought I had bombed,” she said. “But they chose me over three other candidates.”

Hewes spent several weeks that January developing all the pastries and desserts that people have come to know and love George for, including a unique selection of cakes, scones, tortes, cheesecake, cookies, truffles and croissants.

“What I enjoy most has to be a tie between letting my creative juices flow and being able to interact with the people who eat my creations,” Hewes said. “Chef George and Luba always are supporting me and talking through ideas. I love the collaborative environment and creative freedom that they have given me. The most amazing feeling is when I am behind the pastry display and people are ‘ooo-ing, and ah-ing’ and are just nothing short of amazed at what they are seeing.”

Hewes said that she has a very unique style for baking and desserts.

“I would say foremost that I have a very European approach, as nothing of mine is too sweet,” she said. “I find myself obsessing over balance. I don’t know that I could place myself into a distinct category though, I try to create with no rules, no limits, as long as every bite has balance and so much flavor you can’t wait to take the next bite.”

Hewes said that she loves the freedom and endless opportunities of creating pastries.

“A lot of people are so intimidated by the thought of baking because it seems to be such a sensitive ratio and combination of ingredients, and it very much is, but there is always room for interpretation and adjusting,” she said. “Some great power gave me a natural knack for it and I will take advantage of that as long as I can, hopefully forever.”

Hewes said that the other part she loves about creating pastry is seeing the looks on people faces when they take their first bite.

“There is nothing more rewarding than a silenced table of diners…” she said. “It’s the best feeling ever.”

Her advice to women chasing a culinary dream: “Take the knowledge your mistakes can teach you and burn it into your brain so that you don’t repeat them. Always think of yourself as a sponge. In this industry you are never done learning. Ask questions, take notes and, above all, be persistent and dedicated to your work and passion.”

George Artisan Bakery & Bistro
1124 W. Garden St.
georgeartisan.com