Her childhood sounds as idyllic as her Tiffany blue-hued cupcakeries.
Jennifer Shea—owner of Trophy Cupcakes and Party —grew up in Southern Oregon and spent summers along the Rogue River picking blackberries with her mom. Blackberries with which they made pies.
“I was an avid 4-H and Home Economics geek. I won a blue ribbon at the County Fair when I was eight for my grandmother’s pumpkin roll recipe and the Best in Home Economics award in the 8th grade. Despite my love of baking and party-making, I didn’t realize I could (or wanted to) make a career out of it until I visited the Cupcake Café in NYC about 12 years ago. At that moment, I knew that opening a cupcake shop was exactly what I wanted to do.”
Here is some Seattle stuff that Jennifer Shea likes.
What is your favorite coffee in Seattle?
Lighthouse Roasters. My husband grew up with Eddie [Leebrick, the owner] and luckily when we were sampling coffee to use at Trophy we fell in love with his.
What is your favorite ingredient right now?
Caramel! I am obsessed with making caramel right now. It is so amazing that you can heat sugar and water and end up with a smooth, gooey confection that is so incredibly versatile and so good! Our house-made caramel is showing up in our newest cupcake flavors…Stroop Waffle, Samoas and soon…Salted Caramel!
What is your guilty food pleasure?
I love really good fries. I had never had fries the way they were intended until I worked at the Palace Kitchen. It was all over when I tried those and realized the skill that it takes to make perfectly crunchy, not-too-greasy fries. Now if I am having drinks at Sambar or dinner at Café Presse I can’t help but order a side of frites…ideally with mayo or aioli.
What is your favorite cookbook?
I love Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook. This is my go-to party food cookbook. The white bean and sage dip with olive oil and garlic is amazing. Honestly I love the photographs too….I never get my presentation as perfect as Martha, but it is fun to try.