Skip to main content

Culinary Artist: Baker Jose Sanchez

Nov 18, 2015 01:05PM, Published by Kevin, Categories: Food+Drink, Today in this issue, Savor




Remember the days when bakeries were small and local and the flavors were fresh? When glass cases were filled with so many treats it was hard to choose, and you were handed your order in a crisp white paper bag?

In an era of pastries in pre-packaged in plastic from big box discount stores, supermarkets and chain bakeries, one small bakery on Hanford’s Irwin Street is doing business the old way: Sweet Palette Bakery.

Jose Sanchez, who has combined his love of baking and art, owns the bakery. His slogan is “Art You Can Taste.”

Depending on the day, customers might find strawberry pizzas, chocolate covered fruit, caramel apple tarts, flan, cheesecake, napoleons, scones, pies, cream puffs, cookies, cupcakes, rice pudding, bread pudding and Hawaiian bread. Sometimes he makes Mexican bread pudding with sugar cane and molasses, a more syrupy version than its American counterpart.

“I like to eat. I enjoy food. When we got together food was a big part of it,” he said of his family.

Raised in Avenal, Jose has no formal culinary training but taught himself to bake by trial and error and by watching Julia Child on PBS. 

“I’d never pay attention that I was learning,” he said. “I just knew these things.”

His other interest was art and when it came time to think about a career he left the Central Valley for the Seattle Art Institute. He specialized in murals, airbrush work and portraits. When a full-time career in art did not pan out, he ended up in financial services in Seattle. 

Family brought him home. 

He had planned to open a finance business but came up with a better idea.

“I looked around and there is no good bakery here,” he said. “Macagno’s (a long- time Hanford bakery) was in the process of closing. I looked around and said ‘maybe I could do this.’”

Sweet Palette Bakery has been open for almost two years and will soon expand into a nearby vacant space to provide Jose with a larger work area. With the addition, the bakery will feature breakfast and lunch items such as quiche, soup and salads, croissants and artisan breads. 

Jose said Sweet Palette is about food, celebration and sharing. 

He has a loyal following. Customers come in for a treat to go. Others sit in a small seating area. 

“I know a lot of them by name,” Jose said. “I think people know I’m passionate with what I do. They always see me here.”

Nancy Cecil of Hanford called Jose’s baking “awesome” as she enjoyed a slice of strawberry pizza. Referring to his extensive talent and creativity, she said, “he’ll do anything.”

For the bakery’s grand opening, Jose baked an 11-foot cake with 20 different flavors and a 4-foot base. It barely fit under the ceiling. Customers were lined up around the corner to have a piece of cake and to take advantage of his “one day, one dollar” sale on anything in the bakery.

Other local businesses have been supportive.

Leprino Foods in Lemoore ordered 2,000 cookies. The local hospital ordered an assortment of cookies for employee gifts. Jose has donated chocolate baskets, roses and fruit for the Hanford Guild of Children’s Hospital of Central California. Valentine’s Day is big and so is Thanksgiving when he bakes pies.

“Instead of Starbucks cards, they want something fresh,” he said. “We do everything fresh. That helps.” 

His day begins at 2 a.m. and sometimes lasts for 18 hours. His sister helps, as do two interns from the culinary program at the Institute of Technology in Fresno.

He still draws portraits but most of them are on cakes, a medium he likes. He also likes working with chocolate and has created intricate chocolate roses, chocolate feathers and edible arrangements.

He researches recipes and visits bakeries when he travels for new ideas. 

“We do a lot of the things they do in big cities,” he said, noting a customer favorite: his edible mocha mousse cups. 

Jose said Sweet Palette is about food, celebration and sharing.  

“Everybody has his or her favorites,” he said of his customers, adding they often want to “show off what they like” to their families and friends.

Sweet Palette Bakery is located at 701 N. Irwin St. in Hanford. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call (559) 530-3001.

Story and photos by Judith House Menezes, a professor of journalism and adviser to the student newspaper at College of the Sequoias in Visalia.

Scones

Combine:

2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Cut in one stick of unsalted butter, 2/3 cup of buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Work the dough gently. To this base, add your choice of items, such as blueberries, orange zest, banana, cinnamon, or raisins, chocolate chips.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or so. Moist ingredients may need more time to bake.



Savor in this issue 2015 business winter bakeries baked goods sweets pastries


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    04/03/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    04/03/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    04/04/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    04/04/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • Peter and The Starcatcher

    03/30/2017
    05:30PM

    In this ingenious prequel to Peter Pan, a handful of actors play over 100 hilarious characters. Y...


  • 2017 Fun(d) Run

    04/01/2017
    08:00AM — 01:00PM

    On April 1, 2017 take a Wellness Day for you and your family and join us at Woodward! Take advan...


  • Party for the Parkway 06. Meet an Alpaca

    04/01/2017
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    MEET AN ALPACA SATURDAY, APRIL 1 1:00 pm KT-LEE RANCH ALPACAS, NORTH FORK PARTY 6 Have you...


  • World Autism Awareness Day

    04/02/2017
    12:00AM

    Each April 2nd, Autism Speaks celebrates the start of its signature campaign, Light It Up Blue, a...


  • Unique Perspectives on Autism

    04/05/2017
    06:00PM

    A mother of two boys on the autism spectrum joins forces with a developmental pediatrician, board...


  • Unique Perspectives on Autism

    04/05/2017
    06:00PM

    Celebrate Autism Awareness Month with us at this special one-time event! A mother of two boys...


  • 2017 Art Hop

    04/06/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    ArtHop occurs every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. It’s one of the most active and successfu...


  • An outstanding night of Art & Music featuring award winning and nationally known artist Kyle Edwa...


  • Art Hop: Ladies Night

    04/06/2017
    05:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join Our Amazing Artists As they throw a ladies night for Art Hop! A fun night of Art, Music, Mo...


  • Arts & Hops

    04/06/2017
    05:30PM — 08:00PM

    FCFB is turning 100 and wants to celebrate this milestone birthday with you! Bring your friends a...


  • Boots In The Park

    04/07/2017
    05:00PM — 10:00PM

    Join Us For Boots In The Park On Friday, April 7 With Some Of The Biggest Names In Country Music!...


  • Geek Night: 59DaysofCode

    04/07/2017
    05:00PM — 07:00PM

    Guess who’s back, back again. 59DOC’s back, tell a friend. Guess who's back, guess who's back. Gu...


  • Breakfast with the Animals

    04/08/2017
    08:30AM — 11:30AM

    Join us for hot syrupy pancakes, sizzling sausage, hot coffee, donuts, milk and juice! This year’...


  • Kingburg Pet Clinic

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    Get ready for the next Kingsburg Pet Clinic, to be held on Saturday, April 8 on the east side of ...


  • Artist’s Event

    04/08/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Do you love to sketch, draw, paint or photograph live animals? Would you love to spend up to two...


  • Fresno Chinatown Underground Tunnel Tour

    04/08/2017
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Every big city has an active underground network and Fresno is no exception. The ability to duck ...


  • Peter and The Starcatcher

    04/09/2017
    05:00PM

    In this ingenious prequel to Peter Pan, a handful of actors play over 100 hilarious characters. Y...


  • Eatin' on Eaton

    04/14/2017
    11:00AM — 01:00PM

    Save the date! Eatin on Eaton is coming back Friday, April 14th. Food trucks will be out on Eaton...


  • Peter and The Starcatcher

    04/14/2017
    05:30PM

    In this ingenious prequel to Peter Pan, a handful of actors play over 100 hilarious characters. Y...


WHO IS CEN CALI LIFE MAGAZINE?

It is the mission of Cen Cali Life Magazine to spotlight what makes our Central Valley a unique and integral part of the Golden State. To learn more about us and our mission, click on the "About Us + Advertising Link" at the top of this page.

Happy Reading,

Karen Maroot

Publisher


 

PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS