Andrew Brooks Sinclair is an NYC-based pastry chef who has been serving up delectable treats all over New York City for over a decade. Now, the celebrated pastry chef opens up about launching his first custom bake shop in Williamsburg, becoming a businessman, and branching out on his own. Read on for our chat with Andrew Brooks Sinclair:
Andrew Brooks Sinclair On His Beginnings
Interviewer: When did you know your future was in sweets? Was it a childhood dream fulfilled?
Andrew Brooks Sinclair: Believe it or not, I never had a sweet tooth as a child! I was always more of a savory guy. However, I can vividly remember going to family weddings as a child and seeing all of the spectacular wedding cakes on display, the Viennese tables lending themselves to sweets for what seemed like miles, and the special occasion sweets that made their way to our home on holidays. Those desserts always seemed to bring so much joy. I had a feeling that I wanted to be a part of that joy since I was a kid.
Interviewer: When did you decide to go to pastry school? What was that experience like?
ABS: Well, I wasn’t much of a student, and I found myself doodling constantly throughout high school. I still had that notion of being a cake artist some day, and even began sketching gravity-defying cakes in my school notebooks. So, after graduation, I applied to the Culinary Institute of America, and got it! Pastry school was a blast, and I immediately knew that I was exactly where I needed to be.
Andrew Brooks Sinclair On Earning His Stripes
Interviewer: After graduating from pastry school, you went on to work in several well-known NYC kitchens and bake shops. Can you name drop a little bit for us?
ABS: While I’d love to do that, then I wouldn’t be able to tell you any juicy stories from the biz! All kidding aside, I did have the fortune to study under some of the best pastry chefs around, and I learned many valuable lessons. Frankly, I had no idea about food costs, running a kitchen, figuring out employees and staffing, and marketing a business. Without paying attention to those details under someone else’s tutelage, I would never be able to open my own bake shop now.
Andrew Brooks On His Wedding Cake Expertise
Interviewer: Though you’re well versed in pastries, breads, and traditional bakery items, you specialize in custom cakes, right? What should we know about the custom cake world?
Andrew Brooks Sinclair: Wedding cake trends may come and go, and I always advise people to choose cakes that feel authentic to the couple, to the event, and to the moment they’ll want to remember in 20 years. Who cares if your wedding cake is on trend now, when you’ll hate it looking back on it? That’s my biggest advice to couples, to just be true to themselves.
Of course, I love to walk couples through the entire process, to let them truly customize their wedding cake, and to work with couples with all different types of tastes, budgets, and preferences. In the years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve come to realize that people are starting to really think outside the box! In recent years, I’ve done less traditional white fondant floral cakes, and a lot more colorful, boho chic, and glam over-the-top cake creations! At Sinclair Sweets, we’ll be kicking cake design up a notch, for sure!
Andrew Brooks Sinclair On Sinclair Sweets
Interviewer: Tell readers a little bit about your upcoming bake shop! Where can we find you?
Andrew Brooks Sinclair: I can’t give out too many details yet, and we’re certainly still in the construction and planning stages of it all, but, Sinclair Sweets by Andrew Brooks Sinclair will be coming to Williamsburg in the summer of 2022! I’m incredibly humbled by this journey, and can’t wait to share my love of all things sweet with locals, tourists, and everyone in between.
At the shop, we plan to accommodate for all custom cake orders, and to provide a French patisserie inspired aesthetic for sit-down tea and cake, to-go treats, and French breakfast staples.