Rachel Klemek

At home with Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery


Published March 2010

Visit Blackmarket Bakery’s Web site and you’ll swear you’ve hit an underground world of confectionery conspiracies—one where tiered cakes double as UFOs. This is no ordinary bakery, and Klemek, above center with part of her brood, is no ordinary baker. Her home kitchen in Irvine is “basic,” she says, but it has just as much personality as her professional one, thanks to her family. “We have four kids, ages 10 to 17, so we can’t get really fancy,” Klemek says. You don’t need fancy when you have imagination on your side.

“We make an effort to have meals at the table. I grew up eating in front of the TV. I love my husband’s family history of making mealtimes a big deal. We’ve tried to make that work. It’s how it should be.”

“We have so many magnets,” Klemek says of her fridge door. “There are always coupons, school papers, or pictures. Our daughter will get an A on something so we’ll stick it on the fridge. It’s supercluttered and things fall off half the time.”

While Klemek and her family were moving to a new home, their rented storage space caught fire. “We lost a lot of stuff.” Fortunately, her grandmother’s recipe collection escaped damage, save for some singe marks.

“Since we do the farmers market several times a week, we’ll have leftover croissants, and the kids will make a savory bread pudding with sausage and vegetables.”

Besides her grandmother’s cookbook, Klemek says one of the oldest things in her kitchen is herself. “Me, or my little cobalt-blue KitchenAid mixer. My husband and I have been married 19 years, and it was a wedding gift. It still runs great.”

At home, Klemek’s husband, Peter, is head chef. “He’s like a 1950s housewife. He’ll get T-bone steaks and freeze the bones, and we’ll make stock out of them later.”

17941 Sky Park Circle

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