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Above & Beyond: Dawn Boertman

Egypt Valley Pastry Chef, Dawn Boertman, is passionate about food not only looking good—but tasting good, too!

Learn more about how Dawn got her start in the world of pastries, what drew her to the club and where she sources her creativity from.


Where does your love for creating beautiful pastries come from? 
I personally believe that food should never just look good, it always has to taste good, too. You typically don’t see someone frowning while they are eating a delicious treat. The thing about desserts is that they make people happy. Typically, humans eat savory foods for survival and sustenance purposes. Yes, it can be delicious, but it doesn’t give you the same heart happy feeling as when you eat something sweet. The better quality the product I produce for our members, the happier I can make them—and isn’t that the real goal … to make the people around us happy? Everyone has to eat, so why not make it as enjoyable as possible?

Tell us about your journey here at EVCC.
I started at Egypt Valley in the spring of 2017. Since then, I’ve been working to grow our department and expand the places we reach in the club. This has led to some super fun programs like our granola bar program and the increase of fresh, house-made breads that are available on the restaurant line.

What’s your favorite dessert to make? 
Picking a favorite dessert is hard—it’s like picking a favorite child. The thing that I love most about my job is my ability to make all sorts of different things. From our homestyle chocolate chip cookies we offer in the restaurant to our higher end desserts we make for wine dinners.

If I had to pick a subcategory of my job that I love the most, it would have to be breads. Something magical happens when you make bread. Our French baguettes consist of flour, salt, yeast and water—however, they have the most magical flavor profile because of the bread-making process. Bread always reminds me to slow my roll, start simple and embellish from there.

You’re constantly making new and delicious recipes. What do you attribute your creativity to?
I pull my inspiration from the world around me. If I find that I’ve been spending too much time in the kitchen, then it can become hard to be creative. When my creative brain just isn’t working, I find that hiking in the woods or going to the dunes on the Lakeshore really helps to clear all the stress out of my mind and gets those creative juices flowing. I’ve been blessed with a mind that is a little too creative and Egypt Valley gives me a great outlet for all my ideas that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to bring to reality.

What’s something most people don't know about you?
Cooking isn’t the only “artsy” aspect of my life. Not only am I a pastry chef, but I also dabble in music, photography and theatrical arts. I’ve played violin for over 15 years and guitar and mandolin for a little over 11 years. At a younger time in my life, I traveled and performed folk, Celtic and bluegrass music with a local group from my hometown. Before I decided to put my passion into cooking, I was attending classes with the goal to become a professional photographer. I recently retired from the theatrical arts world. For my first two years at Egypt Valley, I was also teaching set construction, set design and set painting on the side. Some people would say that they live their life loud—but I like to think that I live my life in full color.

Be sure to say “Hello!” to Dawn at the club and ask her what creative pastry she’s baking up next.

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