ALAMO (KPIX) — The Bay Area is known for its many world-class restaurants and chefs. On Friday, one of those talented chefs who has worked in the East Bay for decades is retiring.
Katrina Rozelle is an award-winning pastry chef who owned and operated two pastry and dessert shops that shared her name. She closed the Oakland location at the end of 2019. Her Alamo shop had its last day Friday.
“We’ve made thousands and thousands of wedding cakes,” said Rozelle.
She makes all manner of custom cakes, cookies and various other baked goods. After 33 years, she is closing up shop.
When asked why she was retiring, she replied, “Because I’m tired. My hands are starting to get a little arthritis and I’m afraid if I don’t give them a break, then I’ll do some permanent damage.”
While she made cakes for rich and famous celebrities across California, the chef said her repeat local customers were the folks closest to her heart.
“Sometimes the bride [was a customer] twice! When she married the second guy and really loved the cake, but didn’t like the first husband!” said Rozelle.
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, she worked with Narsai David during the heyday of Alice Waters and Jeremiah Towers. When word of her retirement got out, folks started flocking in for her pastries. One customer drove up from San Jose.
Teri Menchini owns La Bocca Fina Catering and is one of Rozelle’s best friends.
“We shopped with everybody, bumper to bumper at the Monterey Market,” remembered Menchini
But Rozelle has her reasons for shutting down the popular bakeries.
“So, I’m not retiring because business is bad. I’m retiring because it’s a little too good and I don’t want to sell the business with my name on it. I have other plans,” she said.
Rozelle is in the process of writing a tell-all cook book with her recipes.