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Amy Pressman, 1958–2011

Amy Pressman

Amy.

I’m looking at a picture of her that we got to see in a video lovingly prepared to show at the conclusion of her funeral on Tuesday. She looks to be four or so, lying on the floor, coloring the Eiffel Tower in a coloring book, her Raggedy Ann–style doll at her side and her little sneakered feet extended out behind her. She is easily the most adorable child you’re ever likely to see. And she remained just as adorable for all her talented, feisty, generous, opinionated, loving, curious, stubborn, warm, committed, industrious, optimistic, funny, deeply felt, lion-hearted, knowledgeable, food-loving life. And she lived a big life—all five-foot-nothing of her.

Amy Pressman was a restaurant founder and consultant, a pastry chef and fabulous cook. She loved and raised two beautiful sons, who loved her so very much, and she loved a man with all her heart and he loved her. She travelled, and cracked wise, and donated her time, energy and culinary brilliance to Union Station Homeless Services. In her long, but not long enough, career, Amy assisted pastry chef Nancy Silverton at Spago until she took on the role herself at Spago and then at Pasadena’s own Parkway Grill. Pasadenans will recall—with fondness for Amy and lust for her desserts—the Old Town Bakerywhich was a fixture in Old Pasadena. At the time of her passing, she was weeks away from opening Short Order and Short Cake, a greatly anticipated restaurant and accompanying bakery at the Farmers Market in the Fairfax district. Amy’s partners in these ventures, Nancy Silverton and Bill Chait, with support from a hand-picked staff, friends, and family, are carrying on the vision for this project that meant the world to her, and they are expected to open quite soon.

Amy will be missed; she is already missed by friends, family and the many, many people she fed since she started an illustrious baking career in her beloved Easy Bake Oven.

Goodbye, Amy.  You are so loved.

Editor’s note: Acclaimed baker Amy Pressman died September 30th at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. Here’s a link to a piece about her in the LA Times. Anyone interested is encouraged to make a contribution in Amy’s name to Union Station Homeless Services in Pasadena, or to research into esophageal cancer.

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