The Sweet Life of Belen Bailey
Baking from the sublime universe of her memories
If – as they say – we eat with our eyes, then Belen Bailey's pastries would easily be devoured. The Peruvian baker and 8th grade Spanish teacher combine Peruvian pastry tradition with a unique childlike playfulness, the results a smooth mouth-feel of captivating harmonious balance of sweet and textures. Her cozy and quaint dessert boutique Sweets by Belen in Houston, Texas honors Ms. Bailey’s mother and grandmother who carried the tradition of creating desserts for their family. Now she continues to foster her love for homemade South American pastries and brings those same recipes for us to enjoy. Bailey draws her inspiration from the world around her and from the sublime universe of her memories, shaking up its shapes and flavours with her talent. A sole constant: an insatiable quest for beauty.
We hear talked about how bakers and pastry chefs have been elevated to near celebrities, a trend that is certainly belonging to these present-days, but most of the time that veneration comes across as excessive and unfounded. But we have spent quite a bit of time with Belen, talking about her career, understanding her approach and observing her evolution, and we can say that she deserves the fanfare. Not only because her unmatched talent shines through her pastry recipes, but because she is living out her childhood fantasy and that means that permanent smile on her face isn’t disingenuous, it’s a sign of unabashed joy.
“Preserving the DNA of Peruvian Pastries is Very Important”
Bailey told us her pastry philosophy is to not repeat what others have done, but to create confections with personal thoughts, personal style, and character in the desserts. Always immersing herself in her creative universe and be able to transmit it. She believes preserving the DNA of Peruvian pastries is very important, because it’s the root of everything. She just wants to make them lighter and more exquisite. Because the times has changed, and so has our sense of aesthetics.
As is evident, she is enjoying every second of the journey and meeting every admirer or aspiring pastry baker she encounters. The humility and love for the craft that radiates from Bailey — qualities we sometimes blithely ascribe to all artisans, has brought her this far. We can’t wait to see where her journey of creativity takes her next.