{You Pick Six} An Interview with Food Entrepreneur & Author: Joanne Chang

Photo Credit: Colin Clark

Can I just say it? Joanne Chang is an icon.

Back in 2000, she brought Boston the first Flour Bakery + Cafe and our lives are all better for it. Lucky for us, she raised Boston’s food game to another level. I was in the elevator going to work a few months ago. There were three guys standing behind me and they couldn’t stop raving about Flour.

I remember visiting the first location on Washington Street and being so excited! Oh the sweetness!

For all the tourists in town for the Boston Marathon on Monday, you’re doing yourself and those that love you a serious disservice if you don’t visit Flour at least once. So visit and eat! Especially if you’re one of the runners, because you can handle the calories!

There are seven locations around the city, so you should be able to find one fairly close to you. I’ve visited three locations, so I still have some to try. The apple snacking spice cake is one of my favorite things!

By the way, Joanne is an avid runner and ran the Boston Marathon every year between 1991 and 2006. She also co-founded the restaurant Myers + Chang with her husband, Christopher Myers. The food there is divine as well.

A prolific cookbook author and James Beard award winner for Outstanding Baker — Joanne’s accomplishments are many. Flour’s tagline “make life sweeter … eat dessert first!” is pure joy and one of my goals when I was a kid. That’s the feeling you’ll get when you’re eating one of her desserts.

And on that sweet note, let’s learn a little bit more about Joanne and resume this ongoing series with the 19th interview of You Pick Six.

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What is a favorite snack?
The ends of the banana bread that get trimmed off before we serve them to guests. The staff save me these in a little container and I go from location to location checking in and snacking on these treats. I probably eat about a loaf’s worth of trimmings each day.

What brings you peace every day?
Coming home and spending time with Christopher. I’m incredibly lucky to have someone who inspires me, makes me laugh, believes in me, guides me, and reminds me of what is important – US – every day.

Photo: Flour’s delicious banana bread!

What is some of the best advice you’ve ever received?
From my parents who taught me that as long as you’ve tried your best you have nothing to regret. I used to berate myself as a kid for getting a bad grade and Mom and Dad would just ask me, Did you try your best? And I would say, Yes. And they would say, Then we are proud of you. As long as you try your best you have nothing to be ashamed of. I live by that!

What is a favorite quote?
“Be kind, for everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

What are some things that you can’t leave the house without?
I can’t leave the house without snacks- raisins in my pocket or a few pieces of toast or some almonds or an apple. I live in fear of being trapped somewhere with nothing to eat so I make sure I have food on me at all times.

Tell me about what you’re working on now.
I am knee deep in writing my next cookbook Pastry Love! It’s a compilation of all of my favorite recipes new and old. I’m baking up a storm every day and it’s been a blast. I’m in the candy chapter now- making english toffee and caramels and eating way too much sweets and loving every second of it. 🙂

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Thank you so much for participating Joanne!

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Photos: Provided by Joanne Chang.

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