Every Friday, we choose an alum who has been making headlines—for better or for worse.
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Julia Usher ’84

Julia Usher ’84 put her Yale engineering degree to good use. Honest, she did. Also her Stanford MBA: she worked on nuclear reactors and in management consulting. But the education that’s leaving the sweetest taste in Usher’s mouth these days is her stint at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, where she was valedictorian and winner of the the M. F. K. Fisher Prize for outstanding scholarship in 1996. That training launched Usher’s career as a professional baker and food writer. She ran a boutique bakery, designed wedding cakes, and wrote for publications such as Bon Appetit and Better Homes and Gardens. Now comes Usher’s first book, Cookie Swap: Creative Treats to Share Throughout the Year. Due for release on August 1, it contains recipes and ideas for themed parties, with the aim of turning cookie swaps from a Christmas-only event to a year-round tradition inspired by potluck meals. And for those of us who didn’t know there was such a profession as dessert styling—well, we’ve got a lot to learn. Maybe the chapter titled “Cookies Cum Laude” will help.

Filed under alumnae, books
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