Executive Pastry Chef & Partner
In 2003, Elizabeth Belkind began her career in the kitchen under the tutelage of Nancy Silverton and Kim Boyce at Campanile Restaurant. Three years later, while heading the pastry kitchen at Los Angeles’ highly regarded Grace Restaurant, Elizabeth was awarded the Star Chef’s Rising Star Award. Shortly before this, her much loved “Wednesday Nigh Donut Shop” at Grace made headlines, featuring in the Los Angeles Times and Time Magazine, garnering much praise for her menu of made to order donuts and ice cream.
In 2008, after leaving her post at Grace and searching for a position as a consultant for a vibrant new concept, Elizabeth responded to an ad which stated “Wanted: Pastry Chef. Must Love Cake.” For Elizabeth, this was a given. And so began her current partnership with founder Lisa Olin as Executive Pastry Chef and Co-Owner of one of Los Angeles’ most beloved bakeries: Cake Monkey.
Elizabeth’s work is characterized by a unique combination of refined technique and playfulness. Despite the fact that she is not herself native to the US (Elizabeth was born in Mexico City), she has developed a line of classic American snack treats and innovative, yet delightfully familiar layer cakes.
LISA J. OLIN
Founder, Owner & Cake Lover
Born and raised in New York, Lisa moved to Los Angeles after college to begin her career in the entertainment industry. After working with producer David Kirschner on the film Child’s Play and then producer Hawk Koch on Wayne’s World 2, Losing Isaiah and Primal Fear, Lisa partnered with actor/director Jonathan Frakes and together they executive produced the hit series, Roswell and TV movie, Dying to Live. After fulfilling her dream of becoming a Producer in the film and television industry, Lisa decided to utilize her producing skills and start a new business of her own.
Having a lifelong passion for cake and snack treats, Lisa set about to create a unique bakery where everyone’s cake craving could be satisfied (even the picky eaters!). Being an expert on cake eating, but not about baking cake, she set out to hire a pastry chef who shared her love of cake and hit the jackpot when she met Elizabeth Belkind.
Cake Monkey has grown from a tiny custom order business operating out of Lisa’s home kitchen to a thriving wholesale business, a 6,000 square foot production facility and two retail storefronts. Cake Monkey is the fruition of Lisa’s skills and passion!