Our staff pastry chef, Cortney Hadley, is in the running to take the title of the Greatest Baker! If you’ve had a pastry while visiting, there’s a good chance it was made by Cortney. The Greatest Baker virtual competition is hosted by Cake Boss Buddy Valastro. If Cortney wins, she’ll get a $10,000 prize, a feature in Bake from Scratch magazine, and the chance to meet Buddy himself. You can vote for Cortney in this round through 7pm on Thursday, January 4th. Cast your votes, and read on to learn why Cortney is such an integral and creative part of our team at Palisades Tahoe.
Name: Cortney Hadley
Title: Pastry Chef
Department: Food & Beverage
How many seasons have you been working at Palisades Tahoe? This is my 7th season at Palisades Tahoe.
How did you end up in Lake Tahoe? I grew up in the East Bay, and moved up here in 2016 to be closer to family. I was offered a job by the Executive Chef at the time to help develop the pastry department.
Why did you start working at Palisades Tahoe? I have a mission to make every person in the Truckee Tahoe area become addicted to my pastries.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Palisades Tahoe? It is one giant blended family. There are never two days exactly the same, and it’s definitely never boring! Baking is my very favorite and I get to go to work every day doing what I love!
What does a typical day look like for you in the winter? Ovens on at 5am to produce as many cookies, bars, muffins, loaves, and croissants as possible. I often have special events, chalet dinners, and corporate groups that I get to make plated desserts for.
What does a typical day look like for you in the summer? Wedding cakes all day, every day! I have a lower output of the wintertime pastries because of less foot traffic in the valley, but corporate groups, weddings, and events keep me more busy in the summer than in the winter.
What is a cool experience that sticks out as a favorite? When I do a consult with a couple for their wedding, it’s always very flattering when they show me a photo of a cake that they’d like me to make and it just happens to be a photo of my cake.
What is the hardest part of your job? Finding a balance between personal life and baking. I have to be intentional about taking run breaks, setting apart time for family, and making ski days are always a must.
What advice would you give to someone who might want to work in your department at Palisades Tahoe? Food and beverage is not for the faint of heart. We work hard for long hours but indulge in amazing food and desserts!
You can find Cortney’s pastries at:
- Marketplace at High Camp
- Marketplace at Gold Coast
- OHouse Food Court
- Alpine Meadows Lodge
- Granite Bistro
- Chalet at Alpine