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Daily Inspiration: Meet Lenka Gengelova

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lenka Gengelova.

Hi Lenka, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Kneading the dough on my grandma’s knees is what I lively remember any time I wander with my memories back to childhood. Mixing, whisking, licking out the bowls, kneading, filling, baking, and most of all, cherishing seasonal ingredients and turning them into delicious bread and pastries – that always was my happy haven wherever life takes me. Back when I was eight with my grandma and today with hearty memories of following her recipes.

Returning back to traditional Slovak cuisine and especially to baked goods was a natural transition to my own culture and heritage and feel of a home while I am living far away from home – in my new homes all around the world. Moving abroad and living far was a reason why I started with my baking blog & baking classes – this is my personal life story expressed thru food – with a respect and focus on my roots & traditions

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
One of the biggest obstacles in my journey was to start all over again, in a new place and with a new setup. I started to bake more regularly and also teach baking classes when I lived in Nepal – at the very beginning out of necessity and because I couldn’t find there our typical pastries and meals and also because through baking, cooking, and eating our traditional food I shared a piece of me, my culture and that helped me to feel less homesick.

Through cooking and baking familiar recipes I felt more connected with my own culture. Moving continents and cities means adapting to a new environment, cultures, and surroundings all over again so it’s very important to stay connected with one’s own culture – and one of the ways is to do it through food.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a passionate baker and baking instructor from Slovakia with a focus on traditional European & Eastern European recipes. I share my baking passion with others through my baking classes that range from traditional pastries and cakes to savory meals.

I also share our family recipes on my blog & IG @bakewithlenka. I am proud that my bakes were featured in the NY Times magazine and the class on Kolaches & Babka was rated one of the best baking classes in the U.S.

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