Put Me In, Coach; I’m Ready To Bake!
Lisa Basini says she was born a baker. Today, she’s made a business out of sharing her love for the craft with others.
Basini, a professional recipe tester and food stylist for Domino Sugar, is “The Baking Coach,” who set up shop on Broadway-Greenlawn in October 2005 after graduating culinary school in 2003.
“At the time, I was working in the corporate world. In order for me to make the switch into my passion, I wouldn’t be able to begin working in a restaurant,” Basini said.
She began looking for ways to branch out on her own and make a living while pursuing her passion. Soon after, The Baking Coach was born. Her company offers hands-on baking and cake decorating classes either privately or in libraries, schools and other non-for profit organizations.
She credits her love of baking to her aunt and grandmother, with whom she baked with as a young child and from whom she learned the fundamentals. By the time she was 9, she could make a cheesecake from scratch.
That love for food remained with her ever since.
“My family is from Malta, so we have very strong family ties to our country,” Basini said. “There were a lot of Maltese desserts, and just an overall baking sense from them, that were passed down to me.”
As she began exploring business opportunities in the culinary field, she reflected on her good fortune in coming from a family with many talented bakers and saw an opportunity to fill a void.
“I said to myself, if you didn’t have the opportunity of learning with an aunt or a grandma like I did and you don’t want to go professional, and you just want to learn how to bake a birthday cake or a pie, how do you learn?” she said.
That’s where The Baking Coach comes in. When a Baking Coach teaches a class, they bring in all the materials and equipment; no kitchen is required, Basini said. Programs largely focus on the K-12 age groups and incorporate math, science, art and history during the 45 to 90 minute sessions.
Basini lives in Smithtown but said Huntington, where she shares space with a preschool and a church, is an ideal place to stage her business because of its good image and central location to both Nassau and Suffolk counties, she said.
She noted that bachelorette parties have been providing an increasing amount of business for The Baking Coach, and she has a summertime full-day culinary camp coming up in the Elwood School District. A recent surge in cooking interest, thanks to the growing popularity of the Food Network, has been good for business, she said.
“The pendulum has swung the other way – everybody wants to be in the kitchen now,” she said.
The Baking Coach
320 Broadway-Greenlawn, Huntington