Currently, JM Pastries and Chocolates caters special functions, such as chocolates and desserts for wine events. Unfortunately, we are not able to fulfill single orders for boxes of chocolates or other pastries, but encourage you to keep an eye on our events page for where we might show up next. Thank you for your interest.
James Martin, Pastry Chef
James Martin was very influenced by the elders in his family. One grandmother liked to bake breads while the other was a great cook. Even his Aunt Bertha taught him an appreciation for Southern Soul Food, which he was pretty much raised on. Being one of those adults that didn’t really know what he wanted to be when he grew up, he realized that after working most of his life in restaurants and considered baking and candy making a hobby, why not turn it into a career?
While growing up in Sunnyside, Washington, he was surrounded by great farms and orchards that supplied most of the state of Washington along with other surrounding areas with the freshest produce. Unfortunately, he was still too young to appreciate local wines, but this helped fuel his fire for pastry and food. While first attending the Red Wines and Chocolates festival in the Yakima Valley, he decided that he really wanted to focus on wines and desserts and the pairings of each of those.
James attended Seattle Culinary Academy, where he learned to appreciate good ingredients, not relying on shortcuts, and where hard work truly does pay off. While attending school he began work at one of Seattle’s top French Pâtisseries. There he honed his skills and gained rave reviews from customers for his cake creations and imaginative décor. Early in 2005, James moved to Chicago in order to explore new trends and flavors. While working at the Peninsula Hotel, he was introduced to Asian pastries and was able to experience new flavor combinations and production methods. James then became the Pastry Chef at one of Chicago’s newest Mediterranean restaurants, Copperblue, where he and the restaurant received praise from multiple publications and a coveted 3-star rating. Here, he gained an appreciation for North African spices and herbs, which he incorporated into his pastries. He began to focus on Spanish pastry and cuisine, and while using his French training, worked to combine the ingredients and techniques from both disciplines.
James has been teaching up and coming pastry chefs at Seattle Culinary Academy for the past thirteen years, along with making chocolates and other pastries for people to enjoy. During the summer, he works with e-Spain in Valladolid, España, where he gives students the opportunity to work with Spanish chefs and learn more about their techniques, culture, and ingredients that they use in everyday cuisine.
I believe food should be simple and at the same time, an adventure. I look to please the customer by offering them items that may be familiar, but with a slight twist or addition to catch them off guard and allow them to experience something new.
By working to experience new flavors and learning to combine them with others, I feel this gives the customer and myself a chance to go on a gastronomic adventure.