Sunday, October 28, 2012

Meet One of Our Bakers, Dee Dee Arthur!

Hi, cupcake people! I started baking as a kid on Sullivan's Island in the late '70s, so I've had (a lot of) years to perfect my craft. Any baker knows that there are some real disasters on the way to becoming adept with doughs, custards, and frostings. I've most likely burned it, curdled it, and overwhipped it before, but I keep on trying, and I get better. After liberal arts college in Austin, I went to cooking school in NYC and started my career as a private chef, working for Michael Douglas and his first wife, Diandra, for a year. They took me to Mallorca for six weeks and I'll never forget the kitchen window there that looked out over almond trees and the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea. It was like a dream and made taking out a loan for school totally worth it.

My career has been my entree into some fancy places like the Hamptons, parties in Telluride, and living on board a yacht in the Bahamas for three months. But I really enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like working in a t-shirt and finding heirloom beets at the farmer's market. I've always been an artist and my creativity really comes out in my flavor choices and my cake and cupcake designs. Travels in Central America and SE Asia have both inspired and expanded my palate. 

For the last couple of years, I've have worked as a freelance writer for both Charlie Mag and the City Paper on top of my part-time chef gig at the Jewish Studies program at the College of Charleston. Interviewing chefs and writing about the lowcountry food scene is particularly rewarding for me. I also love teaching cooking and have had the pleasure of doing that at The Seasonal School of Culinary Arts in Asheville and with private clients in Charleston.

What are your favorite ingredients to use? I love to work with exotic ingredients and flavors from all corners of the globe, especially tropical fruits and spices.

Celebrity chef you'd like to work with: Ben Berryhill- keepin' it local!

Cupcake you are best known for: Last year's "Temple of Thai" coconut cupcakes with ginger, red chili, and kaffir lime leaf buttercream.

What was the first thing you've ever baked? I used to form biscuit dough scraps into shapes as a toddler and marvel at my creations before eating them.

What do you look forward to at Cupcake Camp Charleston this year? This will be my third Cupcake Camp and I can't wait to see other people's jaw-dropping creations. There is so much talent and artistry here!

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