Do not let the name fool you: AFIPO West Coast Director Justin Pressman’s baked goods, as chronicled on his Instagram account mydinkykitchen, are fit for the upper crust. From mango dôme entrement to chocolate pistachio biscotti, Justin’s edible masterpieces look just as good as they taste. Here is what Justin had to say about his love of music, and his life as a fine arts professional and baker extraordinaire.
Do you listen to music while you bake?
I always listen to music while I bake (and for me, that’s classical music and opera). The solitude of quarantine has given me the opportunity discover new works. (Here’s one of Justin’s favorites!)
What spurred your passion for baking?
Watching the Great British Baking Show. This month (August) is my two-year anniversary of the first thing I ever baked — Mary Berry’s “Heavenly Chocolate Cake.” (Click here for the recipe.)
How does baking connect to your career as a classically-trained musician?
I think baking and making music have many things in common:
- The act of sharing something with others, whether a concert for thousands of audience members or a homemade baked good to enjoy with friends and family
- Commemorating special occasions, holidays, rituals — whether it’s a birthday cake or challah on Shabbat, or a holiday or July 4th concert
- Making life extraordinary, whether attending concerts or indulging in a delicious dessert, elevate and enrich our lives beyond the ordinary.
The act of making music and baking have similar skill sets: mindfulness (being in the present), discipline, precision, and creativity. Both are outlets for authentic self-expression, which explains why I know so many musicians who have become proficient amateur bakers!
Read more about food and music!
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