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Meet + Greet: Kelly Boffone

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Cooking up delicious, gluten-free and vegan pastries at The Peacebaker

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A Chapelle High School graduate, Kelly Boffone is a local girl who gives back to the community she loves through pastry. Boffone has adored cooking since she was a young girl, watching Julia Child and Yan Can Cook instead of Saturday morning cartoons. As a high school junior, Kelly began working at Maurice’s French Pastries, where she was inspired and encouraged by owner Jean-Luc Albin, who said she was “a natural.”

After graduating with a BS in Culinary Arts, Baffone honed her skills at local restaurants like Charley G’s and Vega Tapas, then moved on to a five-year stint teaching baking and pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis. Baffone felt compelled to come home after the levees failed in 2005 and was later hired as the Executive Pastry Chef at Emeril’s flagship restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street.

Less than a year ago, Boffone opened The Peacebaker on Veterans Avenue across from Lafreniere Park. The Metairie bakery is dedicated to providing gluten-free and vegan pastries to her community so that folks who suffer from celiac disease, wheat allergies or gluten sensitivity can now enjoy long-missed items, everything from king cakes to eclairs. “Peacebaker is my family, my baby, my husband,” Baffone said emphatically. “I use my talents to make wonderful things for people who can’t normally eat them.”

You might think those deprived would crave items like cakes or cookies, but Baffone claims that her top-sellers are usually simple, everyday pastries. “I get a lot of input and ideas from my customers. People will come in and say ‘I really miss ‘English muffins.’” In fact, the item of the moment at The Peacebaker is the biscuit. “It makes me so happy to make people happy!”