Executive pastry chef of both Café Cerés and Rustica Bakery, McKenzie spent her early Twin Cities years running the pastry programs at chef Isaac Becker’s restaurants (Bar La Grassa, 112 Eatery, and Burch Steak & Pizza), before moving to Penny’s Coffee in Linden Hills. When Penny’s closed during the pandemic, McKenzie partnered with chef Danny del Prado to open Café Cerés. It’s since expanded to two other locations in Armatage and downtown Minneapolis.
McKenzie’s graceful desserts have made their mark on menus across the Cities, from her unrivaled baba au rhum at Burch to Rustica’s delicately sweet roasted banana tart. But Café Cerés has always been McKenzie’s canvas for exploring Turkish flavors. Her chocolate zephyr cookies, made with rye flour, are among the Twin Cities’ finest; her pistachio croissants strike a perfect balance of airiness and nuttiness; and her pillowy Turkish bagels — a.k.a. simit — are lovely with a cool smear of labneh and za’atar.