WE’LL SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH!
Patsy Garner / Pastry Chef Extraordinaire, August 2009
Article By Peggy A. Potter
Cassie’s Steakhouse has been fortunate to have their own Pastry Chef in the family. Patsy Garner, who is Cassie’s owner, Steve Singer’s mother, has been making her desserts at Cassie’s since 1999. She is exceptional in many ways but her desserts “take the cake”.
We interviewed Patsy at her home in Powell, Wyoming where she lives now and cooked for her husband Max Garner for over 30 years. Max past away in January of 2005 but Patsy still cooks in her kitchen for friends and family. Like her desserts, her kitchen is perfection and has what looks like brand new bright red carpet is actually 25 years old, she is very proud of that fact.
Her inspiration has come from the heart as well as from her dearest family members such as her mother Ruth, her mother-in-law Dorothy Singer and her Aunt Thelma who is 92 years old. “I come from a good cooking family.” Her favorite recipes were her mother’s meatloaf and coconut cream pie. Although she has been collecting recipes as a hobby she rarely follows a recipe verbatim, she’s a renegade red head in the kitchen.
Her love for food started at the roots, right in the garden. She grew up in Eastern Oklahoma where your garden was your staple where fresh vegetables were coveted by anyone who loves to cook or eat. As a young girl growing up with her sister Shirley, her stepfather Norman would not allow the “girls” into the garden to help. They just didn’t do it right. This instilled a deep appreciation for gardening and growing of vegetables, herbs and fruit at her own home.
1970 she went on to co-operate a grocery store with her husband Max, which included a bakery. In 1975 she went to California for private instructions in the pastry arts. She wasn’t the first Pastry Chef in the family; her Aunt Thelma’s daughter June married Gilbert who was the Pastry Chef at Mayfair Market. With passion, experience and now professional instruction under her belt, Patsy went on to make all the family birthday and wedding cakes for over 50 years as well as numerous desserts sold out of Max’s Supermarket in Powell, Wyoming.
While her focus at Cassie’s is desserts she has accomplished almost everything gourmet. “My favorite thing to cook is dessert. I like the sweet stuff.” Her other favorite foods are Crab Stuffed Pastry for lunch, Crème Brule to eat anytime and fruit pies with an oil crust. She still makes the prettiest divinity since 1950 a recipe passed down from Dorothy Singer.
Now after 73 years, Patsy still thinks of her cooking as a hobby, “just something I like to do.” While that may be the case, family and patrons at Cassie’s appreciate the fact she comes over once a week and prepares some of the most exotic cheesecakes and her famous standards like Carrot Cake, Fruit Strata, Crème Brule, Chocolate Brownies and Red Velvet Cake.
So, stop in at Cassie’s Steakhouse, you might run into Patsy, she has become an icon of Cody cuisine.