Susan was born and raised in the metro Detroit area. After earning a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles at MSU, she began a lifelong love of cooking, travel, and new food discoveries. Early food memories from both sides of the family were the foundation for a lifelong pursuit of great food, including pies and birthday cakes made for her by her maternal grandmother and the annual visits to her paternal grandmother in California, where she "helped" at the family's grocery store. Susan attended Schoolcraft College of Culinary Arts, where she earned a certificate in baking and pastry in 2007. She first joined Zingerman's Bakehouse during the 2008 holiday season in the pastry kitchen where she learned production baking. She found her way to teaching in 2012, and happily returned to Zingerman's Bakehouse in 2015. Susan is passionate about baking and sharing knowledge.
Nikki was born and raised right here in Ann Arbor. She worked toward a degree in Elementary Education for a few years, but later decided to go to culinary school. She has loved cooking and baking her whole life and is always watching The Food Network. Nikki graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona in 2004. She has since worked at the New Orleans Convention Center, Paesano's restaurant in Ann Arbor, Main Street IX in Milan, and as Pastry Chef for both the University of Toledo and Eastern Michigan University. Her most favorite thing to bake at home is cheesecake and she thinks hers is darn good. When we saw Nikki wearing a pair of earrings shaped like a kitchen mixer, we knew she was in the right place.
Monica was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in a family that passionately loves food. She has many early childhood memories from the kitchen, like making brigadeiros, a traditional Brazilian truffle-like confection, with her sisters (and burning their mouths because they couldn’t wait to eat them!) and having heated discussions with family about the best food and where to find it or how to make it. She credits her husband’s sweet tooth and his subsequent gifting of cookbooks, however, for her love of baking. After many years working in finance and accounting, Monica earned an Advanced Baking and Pastry Certification from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA and began pursuing a career in baking. When she’s not in the classroom wowing her students with her cookie-decorating skills, she loves to workout and cycle. Her goal is to exercise each day so she can continue baking until she’s 100!
Keith grew up on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula’s city of Marquette, where he has fond memories of cooking and baking with his mother. He credits the particularly meaningful experience of preparing food for homebound persons together as inspiring his desire to become a chef. Shortly after graduating high school, he moved to Ann Arbor and attended culinary school at Washtenaw Community College. Since then he has worked as a chef and pastry chef at restaurants throughout the region including The Earle, Black Pearl, and Bacco Ristorante in Southfield, MI and he helped start the pastry department at Sava’s Restaurant and Babo Market in Ann Arbor. He has done lots of teaching in the restaurant industry and is excited to be teaching in the public realm for the first time at BAKE!
BAKE! Ingredient Manager
Hannah hails from the much warmer Charlotte, North Carolina. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Creative Writing before joining the team at BAKE! as our Ingredient Manager. She loves assisting guests and witnessing the moment they go from saying, “There’s no way I can make that,” to, “I can’t believe how easy it was to make that!” When she’s not in the BAKE! kitchens, she spends a lot of her free time in her own kitchen—baking, cooking, and trying new foods. She also can often be found lost in a good book or collecting pretty rocks.
Jen was born and raised in Granville, OH, a tiny town just east of Columbus. She grew up with a mom who was a very proficient cook, baker, and host and has early memories cooking in the kitchen with her. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and, while working on her Masters in Physiology at Miami University, did lots of waiting tables—which is an education in and of itself! Jen is a teacher at her core and has taught bread-making to friends, yoga, knitting, and even homeschooled her kids. When she’s not in the classroom at BAKE! she likes to spend time with her pitbull rescue, Ypsigirl (who is both well-trained and poorly behaved, depending on her mood) and busting out yoga poses for entertainment purposes as a former tri-state yoga asana champion.
Miladel was born and raised in Metro Detroit. She credits her mother’s fine cooking as inspiring her love of food, which has permeated her life since an early age. As a kid, she fantasized about running a Dungeons & Dragons tavern, planning out every detail down to food menus and pricing. Later, after moving to Chicago, she worked as an architectural model designer while concurrently earning a culinary arts degree. She then spent the next 25 years working as a cook and chef at various restaurants, hotels, and venues in the Chicago area. In 2019, she relocated back to Michigan and began working in the pastry kitchen at the Bakehouse before moving over to BAKE! to work as an assistant. Miladel appreciates the many growth and learning opportunities she experiences as a part of the Zingerman’s Bakehouse team.
Stephanie hails from New England as an 8th generation Mainer. In Kindergarten, she got her first cookbook from a Scholastic book order and was amazed at all the tasty treats that could be made out of basic ingredients like butter, flour, and sugar. She applied this love of baking to her schooling, earning a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from the University of Maine as well as completing various coursework from the Culinary Institute of America, before moving to Boston and starting a small catering business. When she’s not assisting in one of our BAKE! classes, she loves to spend time with friends and family, travel, bake and cook (of course!), and add to her cookbook collection.
Amelia was raised in Detroit’s Downriver area and has many food-related core memories from her childhood, from spending time at her grandmother’s house that always smelled like stuffed cabbage (no matter what she was making) to spending summers “up north” with her family, eating lots of Mooney’s Ice Cream. After working in the Bakehouse’s pastry kitchen for a holiday season she was hired permanently but pursued and earned a degree in veterinary technology on the side. Amelia then worked in the veterinary field but found she missed the food and culture at Zingerman’s so much that she jumped at the opportunity to be a BAKE! assistant when a position opened up.
Amy Emberling is a Managing Partner at Zingerman's Bakehouse. She has been an avid food lover and baker since her childhood in Nova Scotia, Canada. After high school, Amy moved to Cambridge, MA, and received her bachelor's degree from Harvard College. She then followed her passion for food and learned to cook and bake at L'ecole de Gastronomie Francaise at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, France as well as in Michigan restaurants. In 1999 she received her MBA from Columbia University.
Amy came to Zingerman's Bakehouse when it opened in 1992 as one of the original bakers on the staff of eight. She soon became the first manager of the bread department, then the manager of the pastry department and in 2000 she became a partner.
Amy has been working in the food world for over 30 years and is passionate about hands-on baking, teaching about baking and business, and supporting people in growing and developing. A few of the Bakehouse items she is personally responsible for developing are the Old School Apple Pie, Buenos Aires Brownies, and our Gingerbread Coffee Cake. In addition to developing items, Amy is a promoter of classic bakery favorites from many cultures and has brought traditional standards to the Bakehouse such as Dobos Torta, Moroccan Harira Soup, and Palmiers.