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170 Wine & Spirit Purveyors • 70 of San Diego's Top Chefs
Celebrity Chefs • Cooking & Wine Tasting Classes
Big Bottle Auction • Continuous Food and Wine Tastings
Over 800 Wines • $50,000 Chef of The Fest Competition

Donna Cellere

Pastry Chef of Sweet Cheeks Baking Company

wine and food festival san diego bay chef Donna_Cellare image

Donna Cellere began her ever-evolving pastry and cooking career after many childhood years of baking with her English grandmother and American mom in the South, where she grew up.  As a late teen she joined the United States Navy, where she cooked for hundreds of people at a time ~ ranging from enlisted men to Special Forces Officers to Japanese Army units.  The Navy offered her the incredible opportunity to travel with the Clinton Administration around the world as one of the cooking team for the President.  She was chosen as one of a select few with this honor and continued to be highly regarded and desired as a top contracted employee at The White House for years afterwards.

Seeing areas like New Zealand and Australia with the Clintons gave Donna the motivation to see more of the world and increase her life’s experiences.  She decided to leave Washington, DC for a sunnier life in southern California.  There, she segued into fine dining management through the Kings’ Seafood Company (KSC) at The Water Grill in downtown Los Angeles, where she met and trained with current business partner Elaine Ardizzone.  Both women continued managing with KSC at Royale Brasserie (now renamed Lou & Mickey’s) in San Diego until Donna’s decision to venture back into her favorite aspect of the kitchen: DESSERTS!

In a whirlwind, Donna’s pastry life blossomed from a taking a local cake decorating class (at The Amy Malone School of Cake Decorating) to training in classic French pastry at L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland, to the White House again, where chefs welcomed her back with open arms to the famous kitchen.  Under the tutelage of world famous Roland Mesnier, Executive Pastry Chef for 27 years since the Carter Administration, Donna collected ideas, tricks, and amazing experiences as well as a great collection of Presidential recipe favorites.  She was offered an opportunity to work in pastry at the four-star Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  Sharing the walls with Michelin starred Alain Ducasse, she was even asked to stay and work in his pastry kitchen, but her travel visa and her heart told her to return to the US, where she hoped to turn her dream into a reality of owning her own business.

Donna Cellere returned to San Diego and started up a wholesale & retail baking company, dedicated to recreating the classics of home-style desserts with business partner Elaine Ardizzone.  Their venture is called Sweet Cheeks Baking Company, which celebrated its third year in March 2010 (  We create desserts like Presidential Pecan Bites, Grandma’s best cake and cookie creations, amazing sculpted cakes and beautiful wedding cakes.  Be sure to ask for Sweet Cheeks and find out how to “get the goodness!”

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San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival
World of Wine Event, LLC
7556 Trade St.
San Diego, CA  92121

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