Food focused and driven by ‘that perfect dish’, Chef Julia San Bartolome was born a natural in the kitchen. From baking batches of her families traditional Christmas cookies each year of her youth, to volunteering for food preparation at her summer camp, the kitchen has been her home for over 20 years now.
Immediately out of high school, Chef Julia enrolled in the Culinary program at Santa Barbara City College. She excelled in many of the program’s classes, but was drawn to the pastry department, and eventually fell in love with the art. With the help and support of her parents, she continued her education in pastries at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.
Over the next 10 years, Julia would work her way through many kitchens including major hotels in Las Vegas, Northern California restaurants and Country Clubs, as well as making wedding cakes all around the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 2009, she responded to an online ad for a bakery she had never heard of, Sweet Arleen’s. After meeting with the owners of this grassroots bakery, she was sold on their dedication to perfection and quality. With her daughters, Chef Julia made the jump and moved back to Southern California, joining the Sweet Arleen’s team.
As Executive Pastry Chef, she was able to build out many of the kitchen operations and contribute to the bakery menu and recipes. Side by side with the original owner, Arleen Scavone, she competed 4 times on Food Networks Cupcake Wars, and was able to help bring home 3 wins for the bakery family.
After working and contributing to Sweet Arleen’s for years, it was an easy choice to buy the bakery from Arleen as she moved across country to be with her family. Along with her parents, Roberto & Barbara, Chef Julia is now a proud owner of her beloved bakery.
Chef Julia continues to run operations in the kitchen and holds Sweet Arleen’s to the highest standards, as it has been from day one.
In her free time, Chef Julia loves to cook at home and always keeps her chef coat at arms reach! She still has a passion for learning in the kitchen and loves to compete & contribute in local food events and publications.