TFL pastry chef contributes talent to Howard School fundraiser

Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, you’ve probably ogled the pastry case at The Food Liaison. Those beautifully executed desserts, perfectly balanced on the sweet/savory divide, are the original creations of TFL’s executive pastry chef, Heather Giacone. At Avofest this weekend, Giacone’s TFL avocado brownies will delight the palates of the masses, when 1,500 individually wrapped oversized treats are sold off to raise money for The Howard School.

It takes 200 lbs. of Carpinteria’s favorite fruit for Giacone to make 1,500 avocado brownies. It is a towering success of a school bake sale, raising over $10,500 for Howard School students. TFL donates labor and equipment, Jordano’s Foodservice donates ingredients, and Bliss Family Organics donates avocados. “We do it to help out the community,” said Jason Rodriguez, TFL co-owner, “and the great thing is, it’s become one of the most sought-after desserts at Avofest.”

That’s no accident. The baker at the helm has a world-class background in pastries. Originally from upstate New York, Carpinteria-based Giacone moved to the area out of high school to attend culinary school at Santa Barbara City College. She went on to work as a pastry cook at Eleven Madison Park in New York City, a three Michelin star kitchen; and later, she was the executive pastry chef at San Ysidro Ranch. After the debris flow devastated Montecito in 2018, closing San Ysidro Ranch for 15 months, Giacone landed at TFL in July of last year.

“I love it here,” said Giacone of working at TFL. “I feel like I’m working for a good cause. Local people can come in and get desserts that are not crazy expensive.”

Ever since she was a little kid, Giacone loved baking. Her mother would buy ingredients to make a dessert and before she came home, Giacone would have already made it. “I like sweet things and I like making people happy,” she said, “the celebration and the art.”  

From Friday to Sunday at Avofest, purchase The Food Liaison avocado brownies at The Howard School booth (in front of the old Señor Frogs at the corner of Wulbrandt Way and Linden Avenue). Avocado brownies are $7 each. All proceeds go to The Howard School.

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