Vanessa Musi, Owner of Noble Baking, Austin, Texas
Trendsetter, curator, influencer, health advocate and brand connector, Vanessa Musi is most of all a revolutionary pastry chef who out of necessity pioneered the vegan baking trend.
“I love pastry and health and I believe we can have both,” says Vanessa, whose Austin-based Noble Baking/Pasteleria Noble leads classes, demos and workshops in baking vegan brownies, gluten-free cakes, paleo shortbread and many more healthy versions of classic desserts.
A battered copy of Irma Rombauer’s The Joy of Cooking and hours spent baking brownies with her mother turned Vanessa into a foodie with a sweet tooth.
“Pastry was my playground and my creative medium,” Vanessa says on her site.
She trained as a chef but one day blacked out in the restaurant where she was doing her externship and split her head. Vanessa was diagnosed with hypoglycemia and doctors advised her to change careers. This devastating diagnosis started a journey of exploration of health and wellness long before the words ‘vegan’ and ‘baking’ went together.
Instead of leaving the industry, Vanessa took a job as the chef of the Mexican Embassy in Vienna. There wasn’t much she could eat, though, so she decided to create a line of low-sugar, mostly gluten-free pastries and began leading workshops in healthy baking.
“Baking nutrient dense pastries that were more delicious and memorable than traditional recipes turned into an obsession,” she says. “Everyone told me I was crazy. I guess I was just a visionary.”
The Perfect Purée has been a vital component of Vanessa’s repertoire since 2001. Her strict adherence to clean, low-sugar baking makes The Perfect Purée an ideal ingredient to boost flavor without unwanted color and sweeteners. Vanessa uses The Perfect Purée Lemon Zest, Passion Fruit Concentrate and Black Currant Puree in a recipe she calls Mason Jar Trifle.
“I’ve always loved [The Perfect Purée’s] great standards of quality, the variety of flavors and how it captures the fresh flavor of the real fruit,” she says.
Teaching is as much a passion as baking for Vanessa, whose classes at Noble Baking are a journey of the senses. Students use the best tools and equipment and the highest quality ingredients to learn recipes perfected with Vanessa’s many tips and techniques. Vanessa’s classes have helped experienced bakers launch careers and have helped people with similar health conditions find joy in baking again.
“Recipe development is what I most love and teaching is my essence. I believe the best healthy recipes come from people who have had personal health issues and walk their talk,” she says on her site.