Author (and Baker) Jackie Kai Ellis’s Pop Culture Diet

"I’m infamous for only reading the first 80 percent of a book! I’ve also heard every rendition of a judging gasp that usually follows that statement."

March 2, 2018

By Anicka Quin

Vancouver thanks Jackie Kai Ellis for mastering the true French croissant. After studying at Paris’ École Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil, she returned home to Vancouver to open Beaucoup Bakery and Café in 2012—and the lineups for her pain au chocolat and Kouign Amann curled out the door. She’s since sold the bakery and turned her attention to writing; her upcoming memoir, Measure of My Powers, will be hitting the shelves on March 6.

Proof that you never really know someone until they pen their autobiography, Measure of My Powers delivers No Reservations-style truths about the time before 30-something Jackie Kai Ellis found Beaucoup Bakery success. You’ll have a (sometimes uncomfortable) front-row seat to her isolating first marriage and near-disastrous attempt at opening a bakery, but also her triumphs—how she rediscovered herself through food, or the time she finally mastered a Parisian-style croissant after months of stubbornly testing folds, temperatures and butters. Her recipe for this croissant, along with perfect chocolate chip cookies and eggplant bharta, is just icing on the cake.

Here’s how she spends her time when she’s not churning her own butter.


What I’m reading…

A Half-Dozen Books

I tend to read multiple books at once and toggle between them depending on my mood. (I’m infamous for only reading the first 80 percent of a book! I’ve also heard every rendition of a judging gasp that usually follows that statement.)

Right now on my reading list is:

• The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
• The Sense of Beauty by George Santayana
• The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
• The Vortex by Esther Hicks & Jerry Hicks
• The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
• The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers


What I’m listening to…

Super Soul Sunday

I’ve been listening to Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday podcasts. I’m such a self-help nerd! Next episode will be ‘Future Thinkers,’ which was recommended to me. It’s a bit of a passion (read: obsession) of mine. I’m fascinated by psychology and philosophy, what makes people tick, what we choose to believe and how we choose to live. I love to dissect and untangle in order to understand.


What I’m streaming…

The Crown

I love The Crown on Netflix, it’s a peek into the complexities of leadership and of becoming one. (Also, I like the clothes and jewels.)

My favourite documentary is HUMAN by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, which I just saw again on the flight from Paris. It’s an incredibly moving piece that interviews people from all walks of life, around the world about their thoughts on love, purpose and happiness. It inspires me to see the world and my place in it from a new perspective each time.

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