24 May Irregardless’ Pastry Chef Celebrates 10 years
Cafe patrons have been enjoying Pastry Chef Rondi Goodman’s wonderful desserts for ten years! Chef Rondi’s sweet creations are very much like her – genuine and honest – made from the best ingredients available. Cakes, Pies & Tarts, Crème brûlée, Cobblers & Crisps, Mousse, Semi Freddos: all ‘happiness’ that satisfy each guests needs, some gluten free, others vegan, local fruit and berries – all good for body and soul.
This weekend, Chef Rondi adds two new delicacies to the menu: Dark Chocolate Vegan Cake with ‘Vegan’ Whipped Cream below right, and a return to a much loved favorite: Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Sauce – see cake layers coming out of the oven below left. These new desserts are added to well loved favorites: Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce (gf), Lemon “Cheesecake” with Blueberry Sauce (vegan & gf – It is made from cashews), Frozen Strawberry Semifreddo with Pistachios and St Germain Berry Sauce (gf), Apple & Sour Cherry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream and Vanilla Crème Brulee made with fresh vanilla beans (gf).
Rondi continues the Irregardless’ tradition of superb Pastry
Chefs – Hermine Brown and Nina Fortmeyer, previous Pastry Chefs who have shared their special recipes with Rondi, passing the baton of the Cafe’s delectable dessert tradition.
Rondi joined Irregardless’ ‘family’ soon after she moved to Raleigh from New York City as a new bride in 2006. Before 9/11, she was a successful Fashion Editor for magazines including Italian Vogue, Redbook and Real Simple. After the twin towers attack, New Yorkers were in shock and many editors were laid off. Newly unemployed, Rondi used her love of baking to start a cookie business in her tiny NYC apartment. As her customers base grew, she outgrew her apartment’s capacity and she found a commercial kitchen to share with a personal chef named Cory. Rondi began helping Cory with his clients, they became good friends… and then husband and wife. They now have two gorgeous daughters Julia and Aliya, whom they adopted as infants.
Rondi credits her years in fashion to prepare her as a Pastry Chef. It is said that we first ‘eat with our eyes’ – the presentation of the dessert needs to be alluring, then ‘smell the confection and finally ‘taste’ and enjoy. Rondi has an eye for details and balance that she uses in her her dessert creations.
Rondi says baking at Irregardless is like a laboratory. The ‘Vegan’ Whipped Cream is made from Chick pea water, Cream of Tartar and confectioners’ sugar. It is a wonderful, light garnish to the Vegan Dark Chocolate Cake that is a real treat for vegans! The vegan Dark Chocolate Cake is made with Dutch Cocoa and Dark Cocoa for an intense chocolaty flavor seen left.
Strawberries are abundant now and Chef Rondi’s amazing Strawberry Semi Freddo is on the Cafe’s menu. A scrumptious, light frozen custard, it is simply prepared with fresh local strawberries, heavy cream, egg whites and pistachios!
During the next few weeks, the Well Fed Community Garden is going to produce
lots of Blackberries! So watch out for amazing creations! Arthur Gordon, Cafe owner and Chef Emeritus calls the blackberry dessert, Irregardless’ “Famous Blackberry Cobbler” because our gardeners grew the berries just three miles from the Cafe, at 1321 Athens Drive.
Only the best quality ingredients are used for the desserts – Callebaut Cocoa and White Chocolate, organic raw coconut oil, non GMO organic Tofu, Maple Syrup as sweetener, local eggs for the Creme Brule and Coconut and Almond flours which are gluten free. Rondi also bakes specialty desserts for Irregardless’ Catering Division – weddings, corporate and home parties.
Working at Irregardless is Rondi’s dream job. She “feels like she is with family that care about her and appreciate her work.” She can be creative, challenge herself and design her own desserts. Rondi says she “is never bored”, and she appreciates that she make her own work schedule which is so great with young children to care for
Cafe owner Arthur Gordon loves Rondi’s creativity and calls her a “Mensch – she sees what needs to be done and does it!” He continues “Rondi takes pride in what she does and is very professional. Irregardless has been blessed to have her skills and magic creating amazing desserts for all these years.”