Any foodie in the Bay area worth her salt is well aware of the fabulously fun and spot-on delicious bakery known as Bakesale Betty’s. Helmed by delightful Aussie Alison Barakat and her theater prop designer husband Michael Camp (who is responsible for the kitschy-fun theme replete with ironing board tables). These days the couple have a new addition to their foodie clan in bundle of Joy Hazel Mary who is every bit as charming and social as her parents. Bakesale Betty’s is best known for moving upwards of 600 of Alison’s famed fried chicken sandwiches a day! One of only two savory offerings on the menu (along with the equally memorable chicken pot pie). Anyone who has driven by Betty’s on a Saturday can attest that this is in no way an exageration as the devoted circle the block munching BB’s famed complimentary ginger cookies. After leaving Sidney in 2000 where she attended culinary school at the age of 17, Barakat secured a position at Berkeley’s famed Chez Panisse quickly advancing to the position of line cook. Though she loved the job for the excitement and creativity involved, in 2002 she began a side project hawking baked goods at local farmers markets. As demand soared, and she began going to three plus markets per week she and her hubby realized the time had come to set up shop. Thus was born Bakesale Betty’s. In June the couple will celebrate their third anniversary at their current location, a 100 year old building at 51st and Temescal in Oakland.
What did you have for breakfast this morning? I’ve been craving the sticky buns like mad. A sticky bun w a bit of fried chicken….
Very nice, breakfast of champions. Any guily pleasures you care to confess? Oh, so many….I do eat top ramen.. and Skittles. I can’t get enough of them!
What’s your favorite comfort food? Hmmm…I’d have to say Vegemite. Typical Australian, right? It is getting hard to find though, the FDA banned it. There is a forum on Chowhound about it.
What’s in you pantry right now? Baroni extra-virgin olive oil, Diamond Kosher salt, Annie’s Mac N Cheese, Trader Joe’s chicken potstickers, risotto, pasta, canned tomatoes. Right now my husband is addicted to the Scharfenberger mocha bars, so we have to have those on hand.
What do you eat that would shame your mama? I think my mother would be horrified at my chocolate consumption. Chocolate for breakfast!
What are some indispensable staples in your kitchen? butter, salt, and olive oil.
Anything you see as being underutilized in the culinary world? Leeks. Leeks and bay leafs. Both have such lovely and subtle flavors.
If you could have only three foods for the rest of your life…? Fried chicken, lobster and chocolate!
Any personal food aversions? I HATE mayonnaise! We don’t use it in our egg salad and coleslaw. Instead we use oil and red wine vinegar with a touch of dijon.
What’s the most over-rated food trend right now? Oh, low carbs, definitely low carbs!
Fortunately for those Bay area residents not watching carbs,such as myself, the couple has set their sights on a second bakery location in downtown Oakland. And, when the lines there too reach around the block there are always those heavenly cookies to stave off your hunger.