Pastry chef and Folsom High School graduate Julian Perrigo-Jimenez enjoys a challenge.
Starting at 9 p.m. Monday, he and his team of three will compete for a chance to win $50,000 on the Christmas edition of Food Network’s “Cake Wars.” Back at home, the 28-year-old Perrigo-Jimenez also will take on one of life’s biggest risks: opening his own business in a new market. After making a name for himself on Hawaii-based cruise ships and in Las Vegas casinos, he’s returning to his hometown of Folsom to launch Julian’s Patisserie & Cafe in the same shopping center as Coffee Republic, Fleet Feet and Pampered Pets.
“We’re looking to open the first week of December,” Perrigo-Jimenez told me. “We’re going to have freshly baked pastries, cakes, desserts. Our big focus is going to be French pastries, chocolates, crepes and very upscale European-style pastries as well as lunch and breakfast items.”
Perrigo-Jimenez got his start in the food industry with a part-time high school job at Folsom Family Pizza. He went on to study cooking at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and rose to the rank of executive pastry chef before he decided to start his own business. His résumé includes stops at The Fairmont in San Francisco, in addition to the Bellagio, Caesars Palace and Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. He has won the People’s Choice and Sponsor’s Choice prizes at the National Showpiece Championship, an annual educational and competitive event for pastry chefs.
He said that he and wife Ashley Perrigo-Jimenez wanted to return to the Sacramento region because they had so many family connections here.
“I’m just excited to be back in my hometown, sharing all the things I’ve learned,” Perrigo-Jimenez said. “I worked superhard over the past 10 years. All my family is here, and I wanted to bring my kids up here. This is where I grew up, and it’s fantastic to live in Northern California. I wanted my kids to have that.”
Relieving tax-time stress: AARP is seeking volunteers interested in learning how to prepare online federal and state income taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers. Last year’s volunteers helped more than 13,500 people complete their federal and state forms at 27 sites around Sacramento and Placer counties.
The training sessions will be held in December and January, said George Hortin, the publicity coordinator for AARP Sacramento’s Northern District. Contact Norm Losk at firstname.lastname@example.org or Leslie Miller at email@example.com if you’re interested, Hortin said, and they will direct you to the district most convenient for you.
“Volunteers will learn the tax rules and the software, and they actually have to pass a test,” Hortin said. “That’s a requirement of the IRS and the AARP. It makes sense that they be certified to show they have sufficient skills to help.”
Volunteers come from a range of occupations, Hortin said. He’s seen butchers, engineers and state analysts do the work. Each volunteer will man stations at public libraries, parks facilities and community centers for a minimum of two days from Feb. 1 through April 15. Mileage is reimbursed.