Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito are the dapper founders of Baked, one of my
favorite bakeries anywhere. Matt and Renato left their jobs in advertising in
2005 and (with a lot of hard work) started what has become one of America’s
great bakeries, in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Their sweet treats have been lauded
by the likes of Martha Stewart, O Magazine, and Food & Wine Magazine.
Their dry-mixes can be found at Williams-Sonoma stores nationwide.
PV: Did anyone particularly inspire
your love of baking?
M: My mom wasn’t a baker per se, but
I definitely inherited her obsession with
sweets and chocolates.
R: No one in particular. I think it’s just my
lifelong love affair with sweets that made
me dive into the world of baked goods.
Matt and Renato not only consistently produce fantastic baked goods, they also spend
a great deal of time researching dessert recipes from all corners of the country and
from many different eras. They consider themselves to be dessert archaeologists. I,
along with many others, am so glad they’ve taken on this task. The fruits of their labor
can be found in their three exquisite cookbooks, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, Baked
Explorations, and their latest, Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients.
I’m so happy that the Baked boys contributed this wonderful recipe for their
sublime Baked Wintermint Cake. I had a chance to catch up with the guys recently and
ask them a few questions over a slice of cake and a cup of coffee.
PV: Any special holiday
M: My mom had this recipe for
adapting a chocolate cake mix into a
chocolate mint icebox cake. It was a very
Frankenstein-like way to approach baking
(using bits and pieces of other recipes to
make our very own). We used to make it
at least four times a year.
R: My holiday baking memories involve