Erica Waksmunski's Got a Brand New Bag

Red Star Southern chef returns to pastries

courtesy of Erica Waksmunski

Earlier this year, Erica Waksmunski walked away from a high profile pastry chef position in order to start the Red Star Southern food trailer, serving Southern comfort food in the parking lot of the Grackle. She's keeping the trailer, but now she's having her cake and making it too.

Waksmunski announced late Friday that she has accepted the position of executive pastry chef at Parkside Projects, chef Shawn Cirkiel's restaurant group that currently includes parkside, backspace, olive & june, and chavez. The company has been without a pastry chef since Steven Cak moved on to Contigo a few months back.

Waksmunski admits the offer came as a surprise and was very humbling, saying in an email "I was so taken aback. He said I was the first person in mind to take over the position. I am so flattered. Not only that he liked my food so much, but that he thought I was the right fit to take over such a large and still growing operation."

In a conversation late Friday night, Erica confirmed that one of the things she finds most attractive about signing on with Parkside Projects is the supportive working atmosphere. In her new position, she will design and oversee pastry production at all of the company's restaurants but will have time to work alongside her own employees in the trailer, as well. "Shawn's exact words were 'Make your schedule so that you can be in the trailer, too' so that's exactly what I plan to do. I felt like in taking this position, Shawn gets what he wants, I am enabled to create more jobs for the community, and I get to have my cake and chicken, too. Everybody wins!" Waksmunski expects to begin her new job sometime in early November.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Erica Waksmunski
Can She Take the Heat?
Can She Take the Heat?
Culinary pros discuss gender inequities

Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 3, 2015

Eat. Drink. Empower. Gathers Dream Team
Eat. Drink. Empower. Gathers Dream Team
All-female lineup parties for SafePlace

Virginia B. Wood, Aug. 19, 2015

More by Virginia B. Wood
Top 10 Savory Bites
Top 10 Savory Bites

Jan. 1, 2016

Open Secret
Open Secret
The not-so-hidden pleasures of dine

Dec. 25, 2015


Erica Waksmunski, Red Star Southern, Parkside Projects, Shawn Cirkiel, Parkside, Backspace, Olive & June, Chavez, Steven Cak, Contigo

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle