We’re very excited to welcome Jessica Weiss, our new Pastry Chef at Maialino! Jessica hails from Chicago and has cooked in a wide range of kitchens, from a prestigious social club in Chicago, to a bakery at her alma mater (the Culinary Institute of America), to a burger bar in Rocky Point, New York. We asked Jessica a few questions about herself:

How do you spend a Sunday?
I sleep until I wake up, so lots of sleep, or until my dog wakes me up (she’s a beagle named Molly – she’s the best thing ever.) So I sleep in, play with my dog, and most likely read and do laundry.

What are 5 must-haves in your fridge?
Mostly condiments: barbecue sauce, mayonnaise. Also eggs, cheese (it doesn’t matter what kind. I don’t discriminate – as long as it’s cheese, we’re good,) and probably butter. There’s always butter.

What is one ingredient you cannot stand?
For savory ingredients, mustard. I hate it, can’t stand it. For sweet ingredients, I’m not a huge fan of lavender. For me, it always comes across as soapy, so you would never see it in any of my desserts. I’m more classical, I like to use straight-forward flavors.

What’s your favorite nostalgic childhood dessert?
You’re going to think this is strange, but growing up, when my dad would come home from work, if I was still awake I would sit on his lap and we would eat frozen grapes. It was such a treat for both of us.

What are you most excited about at Maialino?
I think the most exciting thing is bringing new ideas and inspiring the team just by saying “what do you think?” and hearing all their excited ideas. The amount of ideas I heard around a new seasonal muffin flavor, for example, was awesome! We’re all excited to step up and do something fun and new together.