My name is Tamalpais Star Roth-McCormick, but I go by “Pai.” I am a professional chef, cookie maven and creator of Bunches & Bunches Ltd. based in Portland, OR. Bunches & Bunches is a dream come true, a company born out of my passion for cooking and preparing delicious treats. It’s a brand inspired by my lifelong love of food and the joy that I get when I see the delight on someone’s face as they bite into one of my concoctions. The secret to my success is that love is genuinely the most precious ingredient in my pantry. Love has been a steady ingredient in my life and culinary experience.
I was raised on an organic farm in the Pacific Northwest where the long growing season, the gardens, the fresh flowers, and the beautiful setting by the sea continue to inspire me. I have been cooking since I was a child in my parent’s kitchen and some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around food. I got my first restaurant job in an Italian restaurant in Port Townsend, WA when I was 13 years old and I knew shortly thereafter that I wanted to become a chef. I attended Trinity College in Connecticut and then the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. I worked for the amazing and talented Traci Des Jardin at Jardiniere in San Francisco, and cooked under and alongside other incredible chefs like, Lizzie Binder (Bar Bambino & Top Chef), Douglas Keane (Cyrus Restaurant), and Richard Reddington (Redd). After this wonderful culinary chapter, I left the Bay Area following my heart to Jackson Hole, Wyoming – a place so beautiful it will take your breath away. In Jackson, I wrote the local food column every other week for 7 years and cooked at the Snake River Grill. At the Snake River Grill, I worked my way up to sous chef, then honed my baking skills as pastry chef before bidding a fond farewell to start my own catering company. The Kitchen at Pai’s Place was nothing but a joy. I was fortunate to have my commercial kitchen attached to my house and more work than hours in the day. I shared my recipes with wonderful clients, and spent my days alongside my three dogs and sweetie, Mark Slawson (partner in crime at Bunches & Bunches and fellow California Culinary Academy graduate). I loved my community in Jackson Hole, the landscape, and my quality of life, however, when my dear mother Etta passed away, I realized that I wanted to live closer to my family on the West Coast. In 2010, Mark, the dogs and I moved to Portland, OR, where I produce some of my most successful recipes from The Kitchen at Pai’s Place via my new venture Bunches & Bunches Ltd. It has been an exciting and rewarding chapter and continuously sweet and expanding. I am enjoying the city of Portland, the mild winters, the long growing season, and more time with family. And once again, Mark is cooking in the kitchen with me, life is good!
I hope you will enjoy Bunches & Bunches treats as much as I enjoy making them for you. I love what I do and people tell me often that they can taste it. For me, the secret to living well is to sprinkle love into everything, surround oneself with special friends, happy dogs, beautiful things and live as fully and as deliciously as possible.
Feel free to contact me if you are inspired. I wish you bunches & bunches of love!
And the other key player at Bunches & Bunches, Chef, Mark Slawson:
Mark is the less boisterous one of this duo. We’ll see if over time we can convince him to share about his love for great tasting food, search for the perfect burger, growing up in the Mountains of Utah, and delighting people with his culinary creations, from residents of the Oval Office to restaurant goers and food lovers of all kinds! Plus, it would be fun to hear about the time he was invited to cook at The James Beard Foundation in NY, one of four guest chefs preparing a dinner in honor of select Historic Hotels of America…He has some stories.
His favorite question everyday by about 2pm is, “What’s for dinner?” We go from our Bunches & Bunches professional kitchen in SE Portland to our home kitchen, usually with a stop at New Seasons, and spend the rest of the evening enjoying food that we prepare. We do like food! Even after hours of making our mole sauces, we still LOVE eating these scrumptious, unique, flavorful sauces from Bunches & Bunches Provisions. Hand-crafted, small-batch moles…that’s Mark’s creation (P.S. They were featured in over three magazines in their first year! Woo!). Since Mark doesn’t like to talk about himself, we are bragging a bit.
We truly are enjoying what we do. Thank you for enjoying our story and our products. All the best.
Pai & Mark