Chicago pastry chef, Maya-Camille Broussard will battle it out in the upcoming show, “Bake Squad” premiering on Netflix, August 11. In each episode of Bake Squad, four individually brilliant bakers will battle it out to see whose dessert will be chosen for someone’s extra special big day. These bakers have been personally selected by Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi, who built an empire on delicious cookie dough.
Maya-Camille Broussard owns Justice of the Pies a bakery that specializes in sweet and savory pies, quiches, and tarts. She established her bakery in honor of her late father, Stephen J. Broussard, a criminal defense attorney with a passion for baking. Justice of the Pies isn’t just a bakery, Maya-Camille Broussard believes her company should positively impact the world. Justice of the pies works with various partners on the south and west sides to address food insecurity. In addition, they are constantly seeking ways to be a good steward for equality and fairness.
Maya-Camille Broussard spoke with the Chicago Defender about the new show, “Bake Squad”, her business, and her life as an entrepreneur.
Chicago Defender: One of the things that distinguish your business is adding a social justice element to it. Why was that important to you?
Maya-Camille Broussard: Well, whatever I do, or whenever I do something, I always do it with a purpose. There must be a meaning behind what I do besides money. I knew I wanted this brand to be a purpose-driven one. While one of our main focuses is on finding food insecurities and doing what we can to help children become more self-sufficient in the kitchen, we do not limit ourselves in terms of how we give back.
I prepared meals for women’s and children’s shelters. We served over 3500 meals a day in 2020 and 1500 meals in 2021 because there was a greater need and more funding for it last year during the pandemic. We were focused on finding surplus vaccinations for black and brown people who did not have easy access to vaccinations. It was important to us to use our energy to do that so we can fight this thing and eradicate it. This is just another example of how I allow myself to be a vessel for service and make an impact.
Chicago Defender: Tell me about Bake Squad. What made you want to participate in this show?
Maya-Camille Broussard: I was chosen by Chef Chistina Tosi from Milk Bar. She is a huge inspiration to me as I navigate the culinary landscape and a huge proponent of Justice of the Pies.
Chicago Defender: Did you ever see yourself participating in a reality show?
Maya-Camille Broussard: Not necessarily reality but I’ve always thought about media in terms of capturing food in a media perspective, similar to a documentary-style format. The idea of storytelling is not boring to me. I explore storytelling through food and now I can do that on screen.
Chicago Defender: What’s the premise of “Bake Squad”?
Maya-Camille Broussard: Bake Squad is about highlighting people who are deserving and celebrating huge milestones in their life. We are helping them to celebrate these milestones with desserts and vying to be their number one pick. It’s a friendly competition.
Chicago Defender: What was it like working with fellow members of the industry?
Maya-Camille Broussard: It’s always a learning experience and I love learning from my fellow squad members, Gonzo specializes in chocolate. Christoph creates beautiful sugar work and Ashley creates sculptures out of cake. Each has a specialty that the other does not necessarily have. It’s about learning new techniques and new styles from each other.
Chicago Defender: You are known for some interesting flavor profiles. How do you come up with these ideas to pair some of these ingredients that people wouldn’t normally put together? Especially in a pie?
Maya-Camille Broussard: I think that the first question you always ask yourself as an artist is, what is someone not doing? What is something that someone else hasn’t thought of? I am also inspired by my travels; I’m inspired by the cocktails that I drink and the food that I eat. It’s always about interpreting what you eat and how you can improvise with the styles and the flavors.
Bake Squad premieres on Netflix, August 11th.
Danielle Sanders is a writer and journalist living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSanders20 and @DanieSandersOfficial.