In the Kitchen with Lisa

Oh boy, do we have some exciting news to share! We at Judee's are over the moon to introduce our newest brand ambassador, the one and only Lisa Altfest! She's an awesome cake decorator and sugar cookie artist who has truly made a name for herself in the baking industry as a gluten-free advocate. And today, we're going to get up close and personal with Lisa and learn all about her exciting journey. So, let's get this party started!

Tell us about yourself...

"I’m Lisa Altfest and I’m a wife and mom to two awesome little girls. I quit my corporate job back in 2012 to pursue my career as a cake decorator and never looked back. After a few years of working at other peoples bakeries I knew working for myself was my goal so I decided that going to pastry school would be necessary to level up my game, but a few weeks before I started I got diagnosed with celiac disease. I was gutted and considered not going to school anymore but in the end knew I was still passionate about learning and went anyway. It was pretty crushing to learn how to make a croissant without being able to taste it but I still and so grateful I went. That launched my career and eventually I got into sugar cookie decorating as well. I got to compete on a few baking shows and now have a custom online bakery featuring designer cakes and cookies that are all 100% gluten free and 100% delicious!"

What has been your most exciting or challenging project or favorite creation?

"I think the most challenging cake I’ve ever made was a standing 3D flamingo - completely gluten-free! I’m not sure if making the cake was the hardest part or having to transport it 70 miles to the customer!! I’ve never been more nervous in my life!!"

What do you like most about Judee's products?

"The confidence that everything is gluten free really is my top priority. With so much uncertainty and production facilities changing their procedures and companies changing ingredients so often it’s a real relief to be able to just shop without having to research to make sure the products are ok."

On your site you mention you're a Celiac trying to make the GF world a yummier place.

What about your approach is the key to overcoming people's perceptions (and skepticism) around what they can expect from gluten-free baked goods?

"My favorite compliment to get is “I can’t even tell that it’s gluten free!” It’s funny because people assume gluten free is going to be chalky, crumbly, or tough and when they eat my soft delicious cookies they oftentimes do a double take (or double bite I should say!). I give away a LOT of samples when I’m at events because most people don’t believe me when I say my cookies are delicious, and when they try them they almost always want to buy some! I actually had a man laugh at my booth once and say “ew” when he saw it was gluten free. I called him over and told him he wasn’t allowed to scoff until he tried it and then he could eww all he wanted. He tried it, and ended up not only apologizing but buying himself quite a few cookies!"

What has been the most rewarding thing about running your own business?

"Getting to bring joy to so many people with my food and my art is so rewarding. I not only get to help people celebrate some of their most special events but I often get to help people celebrate with treats they’ve never had before or never gotten to enjoy at their own party before. Being gluten free usually means you have to bring your own dessert or your own food to a birthday party or event, so when I get to provide beautiful and delicious custom desserts that are accessible for everyone even those with food allergies it’s incredibly fulfilling!"

Well, folks, we've come to the end of our sweet journey with Lisa Altfest. We've learned all about her passion for gluten-free baking, her most challenging projects, and her favorite Judee's products. Lisa's story is one of perseverance, creativity, and dedication, and we're so lucky to have her as a brand partner! We hope you're feeling as inspired and hungry as we are, and don't forget to check out Judee's website for a variety of gluten-free and allergy-friendly baking mixes, including almond flour, coconut flour, and gluten-free bread mix. Thanks for joining us, and happy baking!