Welcome to the dusky kitchen-Abi Balingit
Welcome to the dusky kitchen-Where we talk about being a dessert person, making ice cream and more.
Q Hey Abi! How are things with you?
Things are going great! I just had a pop up with a cafe in Williamsburg called Land to Sea yesterday and I was able to sell all the desserts I made for the event. I made a variety of desserts ranging from lychee madeleines to ube melon pandesal.
Q Can you introduce yourself — tell us more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?
I was born and raised in California and moved to NYC over four years ago in July 2017. I am a full-time ad operations manager for a live music company called Bandsintown. When I’m not working on email marketing campaigns, I run my baking blog, The Dusky Kitchen. I occasionally sell my Filipino American fusion desserts at pop ups in the area or make #PASALUBONG dessert boxes in support of mutual aid organizations.
Q How did you first get into baking?
I first started baking when I was 13 years old, and got really into it in high school. I always had a sweet tooth, and watching Food Network programming constantly led me to doing some of my own baking at home.
Q What's your favorite tool in your kitchen?
My favorite tool in the kitchen is definitely my KitchenAid stand mixer. I don’t know what I’d do without it! It really helps me save time on creaming butter and sugar. While the machine’s running, it gives me the opportunity to tidy up or measure ingredients for the next step of a recipe.
Q Who’s your inspirational model when it comes to baking?
I’m very inspired by Sohla El-Waylly and her innovative ideas in the kitchen. When it comes to both baking and cooking, her creativity and ability to think on her feet is something I admire so much.
Q I’ve noticed on your page you share poetry and also started a book club. Can you tell us about how it started and how does it affect you? Would you also recommend some books you have been reading recently?
Initially, I started my cookbook club as a way to read through the cookbook collection I was amassing throughout the first couple of months of quarantine. I thought it would be a great idea to not only cook recipes from these books by BIPOC authors at home, but also to share that experience over Zoom. The club has opened up to food memoirs and we most recently discussed Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner. It’s been a great way to connect with people virtually, and I really want to extend that experience in person one day. Although this isn’t a cookbook or memoir, I read Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So and loved it so much. It’s a collection of short stories about Cambodian American characters set mostly in Stockton, CA. I really recommend it! I also enjoyed reading Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala. It’s a delightful murder mystery and the protagonist is also a Filipino American baker like me!
Q How was your experience when wearing inooknit and shooting with Marisa? How does it feel when walking around NY wearing our shoes?
The flats were super comfortable and adorable to wear! Marisa and I were walking around McGolrick Park in Greenpoint to shop at the local farmers market, and I had no trouble getting around every stall. I felt like I could walk around the kitchen to bake easily in them too.
Q Can you walk us through a typical day in your life?
I wish I could tell you that I’m a morning person and that I start my day by cooking a wholesome breakfast and making my bed, but I am not one! More often than not, I’m waking up late, rolling over and immediately logging onto Slack. I don’t spare a lot of time in the early hours of the day, but I’ll meander to the kitchen during my lunch break to eat real food. Once it’s 6pm, I either like to watch some TV or bake to decompress. When I’m testing recipes, I’m often getting ingredients at the grocery store or jotting notes on my laptop of what my schedule is for the week. I love going to concerts and eating out with friends whenever I get a chance too.
Q Any future plans you want to share with us?
I’m excited for the Christmas season and the opportunity to bake for my loved ones! I hope to do more pop ups in the future as well.
Q Has covid affected the way you create?
Because of COVID, I feel like I’m more inspired to create desserts that remind me of simpler times. I often draw from nostalgic flavors of my childhood and I think that has a lot to do with me missing my family. I find myself making more Filipino food because it’s not as easily accessible as it was before when I lived on the same coast as most of my relatives.
About Abi Balingit
My name is Abi and I’m a Filipino-American woman and aspirational MPDG living in Bed-Stuy. In my downtime, I tend to my 13 house plants. I THOROUGHLY enjoy the occasional Pizookie™️ but despise water chestnuts. Florence Pugh making ice cream on her IG story is my religion.
The dusky kitchen https://theduskykitchen.com/about/
Photographer: Marisa Silva
Styling: Farmer’s Market Outfit:
Red dress - Nicopanda
Periwinkle bra - ARQ
Animal print helmet -Snakibabi
Green jumpsuit: Filosofia
Green detachable collar: Kkco