When Hedy Goldsmith announced she was leaving her executive pastry chef position with Michael Schwartz after two decades to pursue a new life in Los Angeles, all of Miami felt a loss. Not only was Goldsmith a great chef, but she was also a much-loved figure in the community for her work with various organizations, including Alex's Lemonade Stand, which raises money to help kids battling cancer.
With several James Beard Award nominations, a published book (Baking Out Loud: Fun Desserts With Big Flavors), and many television appearances under her belt, Goldsmith would undoubtedly thrive in the City of Angels. First and foremost, she and wife Heidi Ladell set out to enjoy their new city. "We've just been embracing life. We've been here since the end of May, and I've totally been enjoying myself and the relationships I've made with other chefs."
Goldsmith, an eternal ball of energy, quickly learned to surf and takes daily walks in the Hollywood Hills. "We're three blocks from one of the best canyon hikes. We bought Fitbits, and it rewards us for taking 10,000 steps. We were so ready for a lifestyle change." After a few months of recharging her batteries, it was time for the chef to spring into action. She recently opened an online bakery, SweetHedy.com, selling her Junk in da Trunk cookies and other treats. The chef says she started her online business organically. "Friends of mine from Miami who are our here in Los Angeles hooked me up with some studio executives. I started getting orders for my cookies. That's what got me out of my hiking boots and back into my work clogs. People would ask if they could order 100 dozen cookies, and I said yes to everything. I just looked at Heidi and said, 'I guess we're going to be in the online
Goldsmith says she finds a renewed love of baking in California, fueled in part by the state's abundance of fresh products. "I've always baked with love and integrity, but that coupled with having
Although her online business has taken off, Goldsmith is working on something closer to her heart. She's developing a line of gourmet edibles. Medical marijuana use is legal in California, but Goldsmith says the edibles available aren't very high-quality. The chef says she got the idea from working with Alex's Lemonade Stand and seeing firsthand how cancer treatments can ravage young bodies. "I've witnessed so much. It's gut-wrenching seeing these kids and how the disease and treatment zap their appetite."
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Goldsmith says that although marijuana is not legal for recreational use in her new home state, "there's a whole new wave of medical marijuana products. I want to make something for these kids. You're obviously not going to give a child a joint to smoke. You're going to give a kid a really good chocolate chip cookie and ultimately hope it makes them feel better. It just makes sense, and I'm still developing the product."
The chef says people who have medical marijuana cards are getting more selective about the quality of the items they purchase — and that includes edibles. "People used to be embarrassed, and now they throw parties. They're just so hungry for a good product."
Of course, when Goldsmith finally introduces her special Junk in Da Trunk cookies, they won't be legal in Florida for at least a while. The only legal form of marijuana in the Sunshine State is a
In the meantime, however, fans hungry for some of the chef's baked goods can find solace in her traditional Junk in Da Trunk cookies ($22.50 per dozen). Even though they're not laced, they're still known to induce euphoria in anyone who tries them.