Up Close & Personal: Kelly Boffone

Kelly Boffone devotes her dreams to creating delicious, gluten-free and vegan pastries at Peacebaker

A Chapelle High School graduate, Kelly Boffone is a local girl who gives back to the community she loves through pastry. Boffone has adored cooking since she was a young girl, watching Julia Child and Yan Can Cook instead of Saturday morning cartoons. As a high school junior, Kelly began working at Maurice’s French Pastries where she was inspired and encouraged by owner Jean-Luc Albin who said she was “a natural.”

After graduating with a BS in Culinary Arts, Boffone honed her skills at local restaurants like Charley G’s and Vegas Tapas, then moved on to a 5-year stint teaching baking and pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis, MN. Like many native New Orleanians, Boffone returned home after the levees failed in 2005 and was later hired as the Executive Pastry Chef at Emeril’s flagship restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street.

Less than a year ago, Boffone opened Peacebaker, a Metairie bakery dedicated to providing gluten-free and vegan pastry to her community. Located on Veterans across from La Freniere Park, folks who suffer from celiac disease, wheat allergies or gluten sensitivity now enjoy long-missed items, everything from king cakes to eclairs. “Peacebaker is my family, my baby, my husband,” Boffone says emphatically. “I use my talents to make wonderful things for people who can’t normally eat them.”

Although you think those deprived would crave items like cakes or cookies, Boffone claims her top sellers are usually simple, everyday pastries. “I get a lot of input and ideas from my customers. People will come in and say ‘I really miss ‘English muffins.’” Peacebaker’s top seller right now is biscuits. “It makes me so happy to make people happy!”

*Article originally published in the April 2013 issue of New Orleans Living Magazine

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