Meet Paola Velez. An award-winning Afro Pastry Chef who has quickly amassed a large following on Instagram with over 28k followers. Also a social justice advocate, Velez hails from New York, and has worked for renowned restaurants such as the Milk Bar and Maydan in Washington, DC. In 2020, Velez co-founded both the organization Bakers Against Racism along with a pop-up donut shop called Doña Dona. Her latest project is one with Häagen-Dazs, which is a partnership that includes an exclusive ice cream sundae creation.
Bronx Pastry Chef Paola Velez Is Dazzling NYC
And has a new collaboration that's available now
We spoke with Paola about her career and the collab last week in an interview that you can check out below.
ONE37pm: Hi Paola! Great to be chatting with you today! How did you get your start as a pastry chef?
Velez: I started out as a savory cook in different NYC restaurants, and my now husband and I had just started dating. I took a job as a pastry chef where he worked, and it’s been non-stop ever since!
ONE37pm: Could you just speak a little more about this collaboration with Häagen-Dazs?
Velez: It’s a dream come true from the packaging to the presentation! This is a special sundae that has chocolate, peanut butter, banana, and more, and it’s called the Dazzler. It even has a cherry on top! It’s called The PBJ Sundae, and there’s a card with all of the information on it including the organization where a portion of the proceeds will be going to for charity.
ONE37pm: How did you come up with creation?
Velez: For me, I’m always trying to figure out what people want to eat and how to appeal to everyone. This project is one that is nationwide. In the past I’ve had projects that were geared towards the East or the West Coast, and I created with that in mind. With this one, I wanted to nail American culture, and who doesn’t like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It starts from the time you are little, and goes into adulthood.
ONE37pm: How does it feel to be working with Häagen-Dazs in particular?
Velez: It’s amazing. I’m from the Bronx and grew up eating Häagen-Dazs, so now being able to partner with them is a dream come true! There is a charitable component, where 10% of the sales will be going to Dreaming Out Loud, which supports organizations and allows us to make an impact.
You can continue to keep up with Paola via Instagram.