5 Questions With Theresa Ebilane, Executive Pastry Chef of Selanne Steak Tavern

The pastry chef trained with James Beard Award winners in San Francisco and worked at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. Now she’s focused on bakery pop-ups and more.
Photograph by Emily J. Davis

What are you looking forward to?

I have the creativity to play. I want to bring in my culture and some Asian bakery styles into the desserts and give the neighborhood something different. We’re going to do pastry pop-ups. It will be exciting to introduce the community to something different. 

What’s fun about this kitchen?

It feels good. I have some strong women on my team, and the chemistry and synergy is there. (Executive chef) Vince Terusa is very aware that representation matters, and it feels good to be part of that.

What’s your secret talent?

I do sound baths. I (make) beeswax candles. I had a business that focused on energy healing. And I like to paint. 

Favorite item on the menu?

A good cookie. (Something) simple, done well, is everything for me. For spring, we’ll see some berries. Everyone is loving the tapioca; I want to play with fun textures. 

Favorite place to hang out?

I like San Juan Capistrano a lot. If I’m meeting a friend for coffee or breakfast, we’ll go to Ellie’s Table (at the Egan House).