There are two types of people, the ones who take risks and the ones who just go through the motions. The ones who push themselves and believe in their dreams and ones who convince themselves to stay put and act content.
When I first heard Lindsay’s story, I was immediately inspired. I knew she was someone I’d want to get to know. I was in awe of it, of her and the discipline it must have taken. To go from being a Risk Manager in the finance industry, to now, a pastry chef? How did she do it? Why did she do it? Where did she get the courage? Does she know the people she can impact? The hope she can give others?
Your life can be what you want it, you can turn your passions into a career.
Be the risk taker.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey. How did you become a pastry chef?
I attended a traditional university and earned a Master degree in business. The subject did (and still does) interest me but I was never confident of ‘what I wanted to be when I grew up.’ I have a friend that has always known she wanted to be a nurse, and now she’s a nurse! I was always jealous of her certainty. My journey to food was…a journey. As a kid, I was never presented with the idea that I could have a career working in food. I just knew it was something I enjoyed in my free time. After several years of working as a Risk Manager in the finance industry, I began seeking out activities and experiences that I felt passionate about. I started volunteering for Feeding America and was blown away by their “business” (their operations, logistics, marketing, etc.) but at the end of day, they were about feeding people. It was a light bulb moment, in that my background in business could be utilized in a way that provides me with personal fulfillment. Not long after that, I applied to culinary school.
“As a kid, I was never presented with the idea that I could have a career working in food. I just knew it was something I enjoyed in my free time.” Lindsay Sipress
Do you have any advice for those wanting to make a career change?
My advice for others considering a career change is to follow your passion but embrace the challenges and sacrifices that come with it. Achieving your goals takes hard work and being ok with failing sometimes. Just because I wanted to be a chef, doesn’t mean I’ve nailed every recipe. I had to find humility in really messing up. I’ve burned things (I set off a smoke alarm at a 5 star resort), under-baked things (Thanksgiving 2016), dropped things (an entire pan of tomato soup…very publicly). I’ve had to embrace working nights, holidays, weekends and having less disposable income. Being able to live passionately is a learning experience with lots of failures and sacrifice but is its own reward.
What is your favorite dessert to make? We’d love the recipe too!
I have a favorite recipe every day. It’s hard to choose just one! Here is the gluten and dairy-free coconut bundt cake recipe:
Yes, gluten and dairy-free!
♡ 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
♡ 6 large eggs, at room temperature
♡ 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
♡ 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
♡ 3 cups Cup 4 Cup flour
♡ 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
♡ 3/4 cup coconut cream
Bake at 350 F. Once cooled, top with a mixture of powdered sugar and coconut cream (ratio to desired consistency) and shredded coconut
What is your favorite healthy alternative to cook with?
For at home baking, I love to sub non-dairy milk for cow’s milk. I also love to reduce the sugar or swap sugar alternatives, such as a mashed banana. With some recipes, it isn’t possible to reduce the sugar without altering the end result. However, I find most cake recipes are pretty forgiving if you thoughtfully replace the refined sugar. Also, jams really shine with more natural fruit flavor when the sugar is scaled back.
How do you maintain balance? We can imagine it’s hard not to eat all the delicious treats you make!
I LOVE to eat pastries. The joy I feel when I take a bite of something truly perfect is unmatched. I also have to take lots of bites as part of my job to ensure quality for the guest. I like to pack a healthy oat breakfast and come home to a vegetable and grain bowl to balance things out. I also enjoy yoga and jogging. Equally, I enjoy a slice of sourdough fresh out of the oven, slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt.
“I try to listen to my body, move a lot and enjoy all food in moderation.” – Lindsay
What is your favorite quote?
I do have a favorite quote and it sounds a little cheesy at first blush but it is, “The proof is in the pudding.” What that means to me is, perhaps another way of saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” The merit of your work can be seen in a tangible result. That is especially true when working with food. Either the product was beautiful, successfully executed and tasty or it wasn’t. I value hard work and mastering a new skill with integrity. When someone is able to present a well done dish (or cake, or whatever), the result speaks for itself.
“The proof is in the pudding. The merit of your work can be seen in a tangible result.”Lindsay Sipress
How are you helping change beautiful?
I’m discovering personal fulfillment through a never ending journey of learning, exercising creativity and mindful living.
I believe Lindsay is changing beautiful through her hard work, her courage to leave one career for another. One more fulfilling and inspirational. You can find her creating and sharing recipes @lindsaysipress on Instagram.
Lindsay, you’re a true inspiration.
*All the desserts pictured here are by Lindsay and all dessert photos by me, shel @changebeautiful.