By Willow Logue
Over the holidays, I had the immense pleasure of attending a cocktail party with the best desserts I have had in a long time. The macarons were airy perfection and the salted caramel tartlets were the wonderful bite of sweet and salty. I was so in love I need to know more about the woman who provided it all! Meet pastry chef extraordinaire Christina Longo.
How long have you lived in PVB or Beaches area?
I moved to Atlantic Beach in August of 2015, but have been in the Jacksonville area for 6 years
What is your favorite thing about the area? The beaches, great schools, and overall quality of life.
What made you start your own pastry business? I wanted to work from home and segue out of restaurant life after having my daughter almost 7 years ago, and find that catering gives me flexibility in my schedule as well as creative control over my product.
How long have you been a pastry chef ? I have been a pastry chef for 16 years, mostly in hotels and fine dining restaurants, but have been doing specialty dessert catering under my own name for the last 3 years.
What should people know about you?I specialize in French and Italian style desserts, especially French macarons and Italian gelato. I love to do bite size treats, fancy cookies, cupcakes, and dessert buffets, but I can accommodate almost any request that I have time and space for!
What are your hobbies outside of your profession? I read, write (mostly about food), and travel as much as I can. Also spend time crafting artful home decor with my 6 year old daughter.
If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be and why? I would love to have lunch with my father again. I get my passion for food from him. And I would love to introduce him to his granddaughter at that meal. He passed away before she was born, but they have so much in common. Bringing them together at the table would be such a treat.
What was your favorite subject in school? History, especially early American history.
What is your favorite football team?I always say whatever team is winning! I’m not really a football fan, but I will get behind the Jags or whomever my hometown team is at the time. The Seahawks started winning after I left Seattle.
What is your favorite book?
Lately it’s whatever cookbook I’m currently absorbed in. But historically, I’ve always loved the Southern Gothic novelists like William Faulkner and Flannery O’ Connor
Favorite and least favorite trend in your business? Favorite trend is gluten-free and small bites of desserts: The French got it right with their macaron- naturally gluten-free (made with almond flour) and only 2 bites! Least favorite trend may be the cake pop. I don’t like the high sugary frosting to cake ratio. But they are popular, so I’m playing around with ways to make them more pleasing to my palate.
If you can change one thing about the beaches what would it be? Can’t think of anything I would change. I live in Atlantic Beach currently, and I think all the beaches communities are relaxed and welcoming.
Last time you laughed out loud uncontrollably? And why? My boyfriend and I were joking a couple of weeks ago about how pets must perceive humans without their clothes on, and when we realized that our cat is pretty much always walking around naked, we burst out laughing.
Your suggestion for a Ponte Vedra mascot? I’m still getting acquainted with the community, having moved out to the beaches from Riverside in Jacksonville last August. But I would probably suggest one of the large wading birds, like the heron. I see so many of them as I’m driving around the area and crossing the marshlands. Much different than in the city. They always catch my eye and command such respect.
To contact Christina email email@example.com or call 904-866-6154