For many of us, a dream job would be to work in some capacity at Target Field, near all the Twins action, especially this year when they are so hot.
Well, a local young lady has hit the jackpot because she is doing just that. Calli Reinhardt, a big Twins fan, is the pastry chef at Target Field and does consider herself a very lucky woman.
Just 23, she has been in the job four years. Getting it was a stroke of luck, and the culmination of a lot of hard work that got her there. This is her first culinary job, one that she was offered before graduating from culinary training at the Arts Institute International in Minneapolis.
Reinhardt's interest in pastry gradually developed from watching her mother and grandmother bake everything "from scratch." Reinhardt was also a big fan of the show "Ace of Cakes" on the Food Network.
"I loved watching that because they made so many different, interesting and outrageous cakes," she said.
The idea of becoming a pastry chef as a career only entered her mind one day in eighth grade when a teacher asked the class during a career day what the students hoped to be one day.
"Pastry chef just popped out of my mouth when my turn came," she said.
After graduating from Mayo (Class of 2014) she started her studies and training, an intensive two-year curriculum. It was during that time that one of the instructors pulled her aside and asked if she might be interested in a part-time position in the kitchens at Target Field.
It turned out to be the perfect fit. Not only could she practice and apply the skills she was learning, she could observe and learn from the chefs there. "It gave me so much flexibility, I could both be in school and study, and then spend time at the job," she said. Once she graduated she was offered a full-time position. Her employer is Delaware North Sports Service, the food service provider all through the stadium.
So what's it like being near all the action at Target Field?
"Hectic. Game days are especially busy and it's crazy when there are multi games in a row. We had a nine-day stand and that was a challenge," Reinhardt said.
She and her staff provide desserts, snacks and sweets to all the special suites and clubs around the stadium, including the Catch Club, the Outdoor Club, Champions Club, the restaurant Bat and Barrel as well as private suites. If there is special catering, they do that, too.
There's quite a variety among the pastries and desserts offered — sweet breads, petit fours, mousse bars, tiramisu, and many more. Reinhardt also told about Suite carts that make the rounds as well as an ice cream cart.
"That is a particular favorite and needs to be ordered in advance," she said. "It arrives with vanilla ice cream, made in-house, along with a big selection of toppings and sauces. We mix it all up and then put it in a waffle cone, also made onsite. There's always a big demand for that."
Over the past few months her responsibilities have expanded to include more management, such as personnel, finance and inventory.
Being a Twins fan myself, I asked if she ever gets a chance to sneak out and watch the games. "Never," she said, "but I do try to get a glimpse of the scoreboard."
Any interaction with the players? "Not much, they are busy and so are we," she said. "A few weeks ago I did see Joe Mauer in his suite order an enormous giant cookie sandwich. Tony Oliva is around a lot."
And when the team travels does Reinhardt need to go along? "Sometimes, like if there is going to be special event or an owners dinner," she said.
As a pastry chef does she have visions of having her own bakery someday? "Not at all," she said. "I like the large, big-scale productions, like what goes on here. This job brings me variety and challenges and I love that. A hotel might bring me that. But for now, I love where I am."