Cindy Selby, founder

Chef Cindy Selby is a woman who went from kicking the highest kicks to baking the highest cakes. In 1983, her dance group from her home state of Maryland won best dance line in the U.S., and she received a full scholarship to performing arts school. Cindy declined it, relocated to Arizona and worked as a waitress while trying to break into Sports Broadcasting. But memories of eating her way through France as an exchange student danced in her mind and soon replaced her vision of commentating on touchdowns and jump shots with a sweet dream of creating spectacular desserts.

After formal training at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Cindy traveled to Chicago and Washington D.C. for continuing education in Chocolatiering, sugar work and plated desserts with European-born Master Pastry Chefs. She was invited to attend Valrhona Chocolate L’Ecole in the Rhone region of France, an invitation only granted to 13 American to date. The Chocolate Goddess has also consulted at Petit St. Vincent, a privately owned and very exclusive island in the Grenadines. Her desserts have graced the tables of Phoenix restaurants such as Vincent’s on Camelback, The Euro Café and Cowboy Ciao. In New England, she created at the Four Diamond Bedford Village Inn. Cindy became the advanced pastry instructor at The Atlantic Culinary Academy/Le Cordon Bleu. While in Boston her desserts were heralded at The Federalist and The Hotel @ MIT. The woman known as “the Bubbly Blonde Chef” creates approachable “twisted classics” desserts and confesses a fetish for fun edible garnishes and many Home Depot tools to finish her creations.

Cindy feels a dessert by definition should be rich, and light yet neither overly sweet nor so complex that the individual integrity of each flavor is compromised. She uses only the finest, freshest ingredients. Her goal is for a dessert to be “eaten twice”. Once visually exciting plus have contrasting textures and delicious to the last bite. Next to King Cacao, the Chocolate Bunny’s favorite ingredients are raspberries, almond paste, hazelnuts and Grand Marnier and passion fruit.

Among Chef Cindy’s many accolades is an award for Edible Architecture bestowed by the Phoenix Art Museum for a replica of the Louvre constructed entirely from chocolate and cast sugar and an invitation to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York. A wedding cake for the late golfer Heather Farr was featured on ESPN and was so tall she had to stand on a chair to assemble its eight layers! The Arizona Business Journal named Cindy Selby as “Top ten people to watch” in 1998 and she has been “Chef of the Month” for various Phoenix Magazines. Even after relocating in 1999, Arizona publications still have her desserts in the Top Ten list.

E-mail: cindy@blondiesbakingcompany.com