One bite can tell a big story.

My name is Ana and my story starts in South America. I spent my childhood in Chile and Venezuela, and it looked something like this —  birthday cakes layered with baked meringue and trips to the beach to drink coconut water straight out of the fruit.

When I was eight years old, my family moved to the U.S. I learned that whipped cream came shooting out of a can, and apple pie was like a slice of the most delicious (sweet) empanada ever.

Just as food was a way to get to know my new home in the northern hemisphere, it’s also been the bridge that’s kept me connected to my past.

Traditions old and new inspired a career. I’ve spent years as a pastry chef in New York City, working in kitchens helmed by Michelin-starred chefs like Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Thomas Keller.

Now I’m running my own kitchen and launching my own business, Canela Bake Shop, in Pittsburgh.

They call it the city of bridges. Here’s hoping they all lead to great food.