Following her career as a classical ballet dancer, Maggie Austin was accepted into the L’art de la Pâtisserie program at the French Pastry School—and a new career was born. Today, Maggie Austin runs a thriving "haute couture" baking business in Washington D.C. What began as Maggie Austin Cake also includes a line of sumptuous specialty cookies based on inspirations including Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Botanical and Bauhaus, above. Austin's amazing baked creations have the power to fire up the imagination, just like her list of favorite things, which she shares here with The Fine Art of Family.
Item I own that gets better with age: Pair of jet black faux leather wingback chairs.
Best vintage buy on eBay: Dualit toaster.
My secret to looking timeless: Wear black.
Most powerful photo I’ve ever seen: My dad mowing the lawn as a kid.
Best souvenir I’m glad I brought back home: Pastry from Eric Kayser in Paris. Okay…made it about halfway home.
Fashion trend I hope becomes classic: Rounded-toe heels.
Place I love to visit that’s rich in history: Budapest.
Music that always takes me back: The Nutcracker. Still makes me think I’m about to miss my stage entrance.
Smell that makes me feel most nostalgic: Just plucked marigolds.
Film that I can watch over and over again: Sense and Sensibility.
What’s in your purse: Business cards, charcoal pencil, Tiger Milk bar, lipstick, directions to somewhere written on the back of something.
Favorite family recipe: Mom’s chicken and dumplings—somewhat affectionately known as chicken 'n slabs.
Childhood sport I still love to play: Does Tetris count?
How I like to keep in touch: Email.
Best advice I’ve ever received: Keep your head down.
What I’m currently coveting: Philippe Starck W.W. Stool
Art I’d like to own: We had a Tiffany lamp when I was a kid. Our house was burglarized. They took our Apple 2E computer and tried to drag it through the woods on a plastic sled but it weighed 310 lb so they didn’t get too far. They did make off, successfully, with our lamp. I’d like that back, please.