Since graduating from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in 1998, Erika has been elbow-deep in flour. She worked at several bakeries (Hi-Rise, in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Flour, in Boston, Massachusetts; and La Farine, in Oakland, California) and went on to become a pastry chef at Rialto, in Cambridge. She traded her chef’s toque for a timer and a laptop when she started developing recipes for Cook’s Illustrated in 2002. Despite leaving the actual test kitchen four years later to pursue her own wedding cake business (Le Beau Gateau), she hasn’t yet kicked the habit of trying every possible approach when confronted with a new recipe. Currently, she divides her time between developing Great American Cake recipes for Cook’s Country Magazine, cooking up nutritious meals that her two young children will actually eat, and enjoying the brief moments she sees her husband during his medical residency.