More About Dessert First

Hello all and thank you for visiting my site! I hope you enjoy all the stories, recipes, and photos I’ve put on here. I also want to say thank you for all the kind and lovely comments I receive – they’re all very much appreciated and treasured!

Long time readers may recall that I used to respond personally via e-mail to each comment; unfortunately, my time no longer permits me to do so, which does make me very sad. I try to respond to all comments within the post within a couple of weeks, so please rest assured that I do read all the comments. If you do have a specific question that you’d really like me to respond to, the best way is to send me an e-mail at anita [at] dessertfirstgirl [dot] com.

Also, please note the copyright information on the front page. All the content on Dessert First is copyright Anita Chu. Please do not take any of the photos or writings without asking me first. Thanks very much!

Thanks again for visiting Dessert First. I hope you enjoy your time here and happy baking!

Now, some other frequently asked questions:

What’s your pastry background?

See the about page for more information on me. I went to Tante Marie’s Cooking School, and completed their six month professional pastry program in 2005. I worked at Bittersweet Chocolate Cafe for a year before I left to write the first of my two cookbooks. I bake at home now in my new kitchen.

I get asked often about pastry school recommendations, but unfortunately I don’t feel comfortable recommending schools that I have not been to. The schools in the SF Bay Area I have knowledge of are:

Tante Marie’s Cooking School (unfortunately, now closed – check out the other local schools below)

San Francisco Baking Institute

San Francisco Cooking School

International Culinary Center in Campbell

Culinary Institute of America in Napa

Feel free to e-mail me about any of these schools. Otherwise, see my post on going to pastry school about tips on how to get started in your pastry career!

What camera do you use?

I use a Canon Digital Rebel XTi with 50mm f1.4 and 100mm f/2.8 lenses for almost all the photography on this site. I pretty much realized I needed something better than a point and shoot, picked up this camera four years ago, and learned by trial and error. I still believe the best way to learn photography is through personal experience – sure, it helps to pick up a photography book or take a class, and I’ve asked many questions of my professional photographer friends. But there’s no substitute for looking through the viewfinder yourself and figuring out what pushing all the different buttons on your camera does. The current iteration of the Rebel is the XSi, I believe, although one day I’d love to spring for one of these.

I also recently acquired a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1  as a smaller alternative, and I really love it. (update: as of 2013 I’ve upgraded to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1!) Many of the outdoor shots on this site of bakeries and other locations around San Francisco are often taken with the GF1. It fits easily into my purse when I don’t want to be in “food professional” mode and the 20mm/f1.7 pancake lens is fantastic.  Other alternatives to the GF1 include the Olympus PEN E-PL2 and the Sony Alpha NEX5K, all interchangeable lens cameras with an emphasis on diminutive size.

Can you recommend places for me to visit in San Francisco?

I’m working on that:) In the meantime, click on “Sweet San Francisco” for reviews of some of my favorite sweet spots in SF.

Can you recommend some beginning baking books for me/what are your favorite baking books?

Please visit my Amazon store to see a whole slew of recommendations for different categories: basic, professional, chocolate, etc.  I will also post up reviews of new books on my reviews page.

Can I repost your material on my site?

If you have a personal website and are looking to quote/feature one of my posts, just let me know first and link back to the original post, that’s all I ask! I’m always excited to learn about other websites! I am always flattered when other bakers choose to make or “remix” my recipes – if you do, I would be very pleased if you would link back to my site as your inspiration. Thanks so much!

If you are a commercial party looking to license one of my photos or recipes, please contact me at anita [at] dessertfirstgirl [dot] com.

Please respect my copyright and don’t take stuff without permission! Chances are if you ask me first, I’ll likely say yes!

Do you accept products for review?

Yes, if you are interested in having me review your (baking-related) product, whether it is food or a tool or cookbook, please contact me at anita [at] dessertfirstgirl [dot] com. My review policy is that I will only feature products on my site that I feel are relevant and of interest to my readers. Therefore while you are free to send me samples of your product I can’t guarantee it will appear on my site. Please feel free to contact me first so we can discuss how we can best work together. If you do not hear back from me within a week, please consider it a decline of your product. Thanks so much!

Do you do collaborations?

Yes! Click here to see some of my past collaborations. My services include

  • Freelance writing
  • Recipe development
  • Food styling and photography
  • Brand ambassador
  • Product reviews
  • Travel (culinary and hospitality-related)
  • Advertising

Please contact me at anita {at} dessertfirstgirl {dot} com. I’d love to work with you!