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Please meet Candace Stauffer, our new Pastry Chef for Gourmet Celebrations and Air Gourmet, our inflight catering sister company. After several stints with restaurants and pastry shops, Candace has come to love the unique challenges of creating delicacies for catering and “off premise” events. “No two days are ever the same for me,” Candace says with a grin, adding that “we could be catering a corporate rollout one day, a wedding the next, and the day after we’re creating in-flight dishes for royalty.” Regardless of the setting, “I just love to see people’s faces when they first see and then taste our desserts and goodies,” according to Candace.

While Ms. Stauffer loves preparing and crafting traditional fare, her imagination is sparked by modern culinary trends. Mixing savory and sweet, molecular gastronomy, sous-vide, and other trends and techniques “are challenges we face all the time. I just love the idea of bringing my experience and creativity to every event we cater and dish we make,” says Candace. And those are the very qualities that make Candace a perfect fit with Gourmet Celebrations. “Candace is a chef and an artist, and she brings a very special blend of high standards and creativity to her work,” says Barry Saven, President. “She’s a pleasure to work with, and the knowledge and spirit she brings to our kitchens is inspiring for us all.”

As a proud owner and collector of “millions of cookbooks,” Candace says “I love food, and the limitless possibilities that are available for us at Gourmet Celebrations. It’s the kind of professional challenge that I’ve pursued throughout my career, and it’s the kind of place where everyone in the kitchen and the front office makes me feel right at home.”

Below, a holiday-themed collection of Candace creations, including Pecan Cranberry Upside Down Cake, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Gingerbread Whoopie Pies, S’mores Tart and Mini Pumpkin Poptarts.