Essence Bakery Apprenticeship

Alexandra+Weingard%2C+Maia+Weingard+and+Chef+Eugenia+Theodospoulos+finishing+a+day+of+making+macarons.+Photo+courtesy+of+Tanya+Daniels.

Alexandra Weingard, Maia Weingard and Chef Eugenia Theodospoulos finishing a day of making macarons. Photo courtesy of Tanya Daniels.

Maia Weingard, Class Writer

How do you think pink, yellow, or green macarons taste? Or smell? Do you ever wonder how they are made? If so, you should sign up for Essence Bakery Cafe’s apprenticeship program to find out!

Essence Bakery, located in Phoenix, Arizona, is the first to announce Arizona’s first baking apprenticeship for high school students. The two-year program allows students to master culinary skills for free. This apprenticeship curriculum was created by Chef Eugenia Theodospoulos, founder/owner of Essence Bakery. 

Chef Eugenia is locally known for her macarons and other pastries. Growing up in her grandfather’s bakery in Ohio, Chef Eugenia learned how to make pastries and has since cultivated her knowledge by attending culinary school in Paris, France. She started in Paris by creating a catering company called Le Petit Gourmand and in 1994, she established Essence Catering. Afterward, Chef Eugenia started Essence Bakery in Tempe (2007) and a second location in Phoenix (2013). After being awarded Pastry Chef Extraordinaire (2011) and inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame (2011), Chef Eugenia has decided to take things up a level by adding an apprenticeship program for high school students. Working alongside Careers Through Culinary Arts (C-CAP), she has already mentored two young women, who won scholarships to prestigious culinary schools.

C-CAP is a program founded by Richard Grausman, a culinary educator, in 1990 to provide teens and young adults with job training skills for culinary employment later on. This curriculum allows the rising generation to not only obtain culinary skills before deciding if they are interested in pursuing these skills in college, but also puts them at an advantage for culinary scholarships. Chef Marcus Samuelsson, the co-chair for C-CAP, has partnered with 150 public schools around the United States. While C-CAP is only available in five regions, Arizona, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, our state can take this opportunity to expand our knowledge about cooking further. C-CAP offers cooking competitions, college advising, and lifetime career guidance to those that apply.

Chef Eugenia Theodospoulos is a female role model amongst girls at Xavier because of her achievements and goals. Cooking is not only a necessity to survive, but it is also a way to express yourself, from ingredients to plating. Interested in applying for an apprenticeship at Essence Bakery Cafe or would like to try a sweet treat? Call her location at (602) 296-4958 or email her at chef@essencebakery.com. Her address is 3830 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85018. To contact C-CAP to apply for another apprenticeship, go to this website link: https://ccapinc.org/locations/arizona/ and click “contact us.”