Toni Roberts, who has been the pastry chef for C-House and the Affinia Hotel is making a move. Today is her last day and she'll take over as pastry chef for the Wit Hotel and all its restaurant properties: Cibo Matto, State & Lake and Roof. Melissa Trimmer, who has worked at Lula Cafe and Nightwood, will move into the role at C-House, reuniting her with C-House head chef Nicole Pederson.
"I'm sad Toni's leaving. She's been here for three years and has developed a great pastry program," Pederson said. "The great thing about going back to working with Melissa, just like Toni, her style fits my style of food well. She's very seasonal. It's simple with complex technique behind it. That's exactly what I was looking for."
Roberts, who starts at the Wit on Saturday, said she's excited for the change of pace and to work in a new creative outlet. She's not 100 percent sure how things will ramp up, but knows that she'll have the opportunity to have fun in the different venues. "Cibo Matto is obviously Italian. Roof is cocktails," she said. "There's great energy at Roof and there's a kitchen up there. I was limited on what I could send up [to C-View] and now I get more freedom to do some different things."
Roberts will also represent the property at the Common Threads World Festival on Monday. She's at a booth sponsored by Lifeway Kefir and will represent Russia, since Lifeway's CEO and owner Julie Smolyansky's family is originally from there. Roberts said she's preparing a layered kefir cake with blood orange and lemon curds as well as incorporating Lifeway's farmer's cheese into a pastry with blackberries.
Meanwhile, the Swiss-trained Trimmer, who most recently has been a bakery team leader at Whole Foods and worked at Lula and Nightwood from 2007-2010, will start work on March 21. "The pastry program here is far reaching. It's not just plated desserts," Pederson said. "[Melissa] will definitely bring her own [skills] to the table. Her technique is more classic and her flavor combinations are a little more eccentric."
As C-House general manager Gian Garofalo said, "It's like bringing the band back together."
Toni Roberts [Photo: Timothy Hiatt Photography]