The Baker's Story
In 2001 I put on my baking genes, wrapped myself with a bakers apron and entered a pastry program to expand and improve baking skills I developed as a young boy. With encouragement and experience, my baking mentor Cathy Burgett, who runs the Pastry portion of the Culinary Arts Center at the Santa Rosa Junior College, brought a long time passion to life.
In 1972 I moved to Sebastopol, in California’s Sonoma County, where I grew up within the artisan foodie culture that has made this area famous. The food culture absorbed me. I raised goats, made cheese, raised and ‘harvested’ chickens, pruned fruit trees, created fruit jams, processed quince into membrillo, processed fruit to leathers, reduced lemons to paste and baked and baked and baked.
In 2005, after completing my transition from CPA to baker, I decided to open a cookie company, ZIX Cookies. I love cookies, they ship easily and I didn’t need to get up early to fill orders. I created premium cookies; like rose geranium cookie sandwiches with a fresh raspberry fill and Almond Blackberry Almond Ravioli cookies. My cookies incorporated most seasonal fruits and other local products from cheeses and butter to wine and jams. The cookies quickly became award winners, with double gold medals at the Harvest Fair in Sonoma County. I sold these cookies in regional special food markets, cafes and on my website.
In 2008 I took my signature Almond Raspberry Ravioli cookie to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. I baked this cookie in two versions; one with gluten and the other, gluten-free. The gluten-free version attracted huge and passionate attention at the Fancy Food Show. From that day on I have been dedicated to baking premium gluten-free cookies.
Now I’m older and along with baking I take time to travel with my wife Franny, backpack in the high Sierra in Northern California and fly-fish rivers around the western United States. I spend my baking time testing gluten-free recipes, creating new and tasty premium GF cookies and teaching other bakers to create their best gluten-free cookies. When traveling I search out bakers and listen to their stories, work in their kitchens and learn their baking wisdom. As I test their recipes and create new versions in my California test kitchen, I reflect on their stories; thinking of the simple tools they use, the ingredients they select and their different ovens.
I am happy and fulfilled by my dedication to creating premium gluten-free cookies and helping other gluten-free bakers create their best cookies. My website & blogs will grow organically, meaning recipes, tips and travel stories will be added over time. I have identified all the categories of recipes I use. I will add recipes and tips to this site as I work them through my test kitchen. As for travel stories, I will add them as adventures unfold. Welcome to my test kitchen.
"Glenn Minervini-Zick is a master baker. He's got the goods. And the talent. And the passion."
-- Jax Peters Lowell, author
The Gluten Free Revolution, Against The Grain and The Gluten-Free Bible