IRVINE — A punk when she attended University High School here, Rachel Klemek has always been allured by the subversive.
Growing up in the South, and later in Irvine, she remembers not understanding the concept of cooking or enjoying food. Her childhood memories are of sitting in front of the television with saltines or relishing a Styrofoam cup of Top Ramen.
"I didn't even know what butter was," Klemek said.
However, to Klemek, countering her family's own culture — which never revered food — for a life of decorating cakes and perfecting hand-made marshmallows couldn't be more punk rock.
Her business, Blackmarket Bakery, is situated in a non-descript industrial complex by John Wayne Airport. The shop is dedicated to serving what chain markets don't. The Culinary Institute of America graduate bakes an array of goods that you won't ever find in your grocery store, from apricot ginger scones and artichoke, garlic and asiago croissants, to meringue pumpkin tarts.