A Chicago native, Brenda Garcia’s heritage fueled her passion for the culinary arts. Her mother's talent for cooking and baking instilled in her a curiosity for the same since early age.
Brenda began assisting her mother with their family catering business when she was fifteen years old. Throughout her high school years, Brenda was in charge of creating all of the sweets for any occasion. After graduating high school, she attended Le Cordon Bleu to obtain her degree in Baking and Patisserie. During her college years, she continued expanding her knowledge in the baking world by taking part in various baking shows for Jewel Osco and catering private events.
Following graduation, Brenda began her professional career with acclaimed Chicago restaurant group, Lettuce Entertain You. She went on to work for numerous corporate restaurants, including Shaw’s Crab House, Beatrix, and the Foodlife baking department. Although she enjoyed her time learning the ins and outs of the high volume corporate industry, when Brenda was presented with the opportunity to work at Oak & Char, she decided to pursue a fine dining pastry career.
Being part of the opening team of Oak & Char, Brenda quickly learned on the job and moved up the ranks from Pastry Cook to Pastry Chef. With the desire to continue expanding her horizons, she simultaneously took on the challenge to work at Iliana Regan’s, Bunny the Micro Bakery, while still managing to keep Oak & Char’s pastry department running all by herself. At Bunny, she reignited her passion for bread making.
Brenda continued to work at several upscale restaurants, developing her technique in the pastry world, while still practicing to perfect the art of bread making. In 2016, Brenda found a home at new concept, Slightly Toasted, and just-opened sister-concept, Little Toasted, where she showcases her signature rustic, yet contemporary approach to bread making and pastries.