Lori Gilmore is the owner and head pastry chef of The Sweet Touch Bakery in New York.

As a child, Lori adored a book called The Sweet Touch, which tells the fanciful story of a little girl, Peggy, who wishes that everything she touches would become a delicious sweet. A friendly genie grants her wish, and Peggy magically transforms her surroundings into a roomful of beckoning treats. The black-and-white illustrations of Peggy’s bedroom gradually turn into colorful drawings of delicious taffies, chocolates, and candies. With Peggy’s “sweet touch,” the book came to life—and became the inspiration for Lori’s dream.

Lori recalls wonderful memories of birthdays, family gatherings, and holidays that were always centered on cooking and baking with her family. She often gave friends the gift of a special homemade treat, knowing even then that the best presents come from the kitchen. Irish soda bread, Gram’s fudge, and Mom’s tapioca pudding…bake sale cupcakes, Christmas cookies, and Dad’s chocolate meringue pie…all of these yummy treats meant that it was time to celebrate!

While in college, Lori began working in restaurants: prepping in country clubs, apprenticing with pastry chefs, and working her way up the line as a cook at the Joshua Wilton House, one of the most acclaimed inns in Virginia. There, she discovered her true love of cooking, bread baking, and the art of pastry. A visit to The Culinary Institute of America confirmed that she had found her path. As a student in the Baking and Pastry program, Lori learned classical techniques, honed her skills, and nurtured her artistic and creative perspectives with the guidance of the incredible chefs at the “other CIA.”

Since her time at the CIA, Lori has studied under and worked with some of the industry’s most famed sugar artists and cake designers, including Ewald Notter, Colette Peters, and Elisa Strauss. With Elisa, she participated in the Food Network’s Holiday Cake-Off and The Apprentice: Martha Stewart.

Lori has spent years perfecting her own delectable recipes and refining her decorating techniques. In 2008, she created specialty birthday cakes and cookies for some of the top fashion designers in New York, including Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, and Calvin Klein, and her pastries were featured in the holiday issue of Vox Hamptons magazine. Baking truly has become her craft. Lori personally designs and prepares her edible works of art--from scrumptious cupcakes, to spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime wedding cakes, to custom-designed gift cookies with corporate logos--with her own sweet touch. She loves to share the excitement and joy that her unique creations bring to any celebration!