The warmth and good food that are the soul of Macrina Bakery & Cafe owe their origins to owner-chef Leslie Mackie - one of the most esteemed figures on the national artisan baking scene. She is happiest when watching customers dig into one of her mouth-watering breads, buttery pastries, or tender, cardamom-scented coffee cakes.
Mackie picked up her kitchen skills at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. But baking was her true love, and she was soon creating pastry for acclaimed chefs Lydia Shire and Susan Regis at Biba in Boston. Later, while working as a restaurant consultant in Los Angeles, she found herself more and more interested in bread, drawn by the combination of science and intuition required when baking. She was among the first wave of Americans experimenting with recipes from European master bakers and a long, slow fermentation process. Mackie rediscovered the craft's traditional, almost spiritual importance. "To me, making bread is being an artist," Mackie says. "In France, bakers are revered because bread is such a central part of the family and the community."
Leslie was head baker at Seattle's Grand Central Bakery, then in 1993 opened her own place, Macrina. All of Seattle knows of Macrina's irresistible artisan breads. You can find your favorite at grocery stores and gourmet shops throughout the region - along with more than 100 restaurants in the Puget Sound Area. Macrina has been written up in Sunset and Pacific magazines, Bon Appetite, The LA Times and The New York Times, not to mention endless coverage and accolades in The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, and Seattle Magazine. Leslie's recipes reach well beyond Seattle, from her appearances on Julia Child's "Baking with Julia" television series (and inclusion in the companion cookbook) to a 1999 outstanding contributor award from the James Beard Foundation. Leslie has also received several nominations for the "Outstanding Pastry Chef Award" from the James Beard Foundation, which honors food and beverage industry professionals in America for their achievements. They are the nation's most prestigious honors for culinary professionals.
Leslie is an active member in the Bread Bakers Guild of America and Les Dames d'Escoffier.