Bakers have a special knack of seeing opportunities instead of risks. It’s a gift that allows food to make an impact on the world, even if it just starts by helping one person.
In this episode, your BAKED in Science host Mark Floerke interviews 81-year-old Marda Stoliar about her adventures baking around the world. Originally with a career in shoe design, her work took her to Europe. While there, she fell in love with an Italian hard roll and was determined to learn how to bake it herself. So, over the next few years she worked in the fashion world during the day, and then got two hours of sleep before working in a bakery all night.
This kicked off a life journey of baking that wound through France, owning a bakery in Oregon, teaching baking classes in Asia, and operating the International School of Baking over the last 30 years. Still teaching, Marda helps bakers from around the world, helping them design and launch their own bakeries.
Marda shares some of her favorite experiences:
- Mastering delicate french pastry
- Running a bakery during a recession in the 1980s
- Her friendship with Julia Childs
- Teaching international students
- The importance of a bakery layout for saving money
- Her signature wedding cake recipe and a $5,000 fruit cake
What’s next for Marda? She is currently the focus of a documentary of how she has helped over 300 people refocus their lives through teaching the art of baking. Many have gone on to open their own bakeries all over the world. In changing their lives, these novice bakers have also given their families and their communities a new direction too.
Check out the documentary kickstarter here!