Alisa Ferraro dreams of the day when she can show off her pastry creations again in the shiny display case, but for now the AXIS Coffee Bar & Eatery pastry chef continues to delight with sweet treats and tasty surprises.
“I love to put a twist on things,” Alisa says. “Like my peanut butter stuffed pretzel cookie or my Chai Snickerdoodle cookie.”
This veteran pastry chef joined the AXIS team in March 2020. She comes from a “foodie” family and a mother who is an excellent baker. She lived in Taiwan and Indonesia as a little girl, which has contributed to her interest in international cuisine.
She has dedicated her entire career to the food industry both cooking and baking. Her first “official” job was when she was 15 years old at Carlitos, a Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara that is still open today. She helped run a family catering business in Santa Barbara where they also did a wedding cake business before relocating to the Central Valley.
The mother of three dedicated 18 years to raising her children and did not skip a beat in getting back into the industry. Her children have also pursued careers in the food industry – “it’s in their blood,” she says.
When she was approached by AXIS Executive Chef Kirk Steitz about joining the team, she jumped at it. She points to the awesome team and the opportunity to have free reign to explore her creativity as a big benefit. But, it’s the beauty of Tesoro Viejo and the opportunity to build something great here that sealed the deal.
“I’m a very visual person – an artist by hobby,” she says. “This is a beautiful place to work; I love my drive every day, seeing the cows and the wildlife.”
One of Alisa’s most popular pastries is the Bobcat Claw – a bear claw made from scratch and named after the mascot of Hillside School, located just up the street from AXIS in the heart of Tesoro Viejo’s Hillside Village.
“Everything I do is from scratch and I get to use the highest quality ingredients,” she says.
She does it all from muffins and danishes to croissants and puff pastry. Always looking for a new challenge, she gets inspiration from others via YouTube and from the visual environment around her. The residents of Tesoro Viejo also provide inspiration. In fact, one of Alisa’s muffins features granola from Nutritiously Delicious, a business owned by a new Tesoro Viejo resident.
Even in the midst of the public health challenge that has strained many restaurants, AXIS has found a way to continue to serve residents and visitors to Tesoro Viejo. The walk-up window has worked very well, according to Alisa.
“I’m so fortunate to have free reign to create treats that put a smile on people’s faces,” Alisa says.