Athene Kline, head baker at 5 Points Market & Restaurant (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Athene Kline is relatively new to the industry, having started as a pastry assistant at the B Line under Terri LaChance in March 2016.
Although Kline went to school for photography, she subconsciously always wanted to bake, joking that she’d run away and start a new life as a baker if photography didn’t work out.
It didn’t take long for Kline’s goodies to catch the eye of 5 Points Market & Restaurant, who hired her to take over their baking program earlier this year. Now, as the head baker, you can swing by for delights such as the sticky date cake with golden turmeric cream cheese frosting and black sesame sprinklings.
1) What was the first dish you had that changed your perspective on food?
I grew up in Germany, where fresh bread is such a necessary daily staple. Most days I’d get a treat from the bakery on the way home from school — usually a large soft pretzel, sliced in half and filled with butter. I dream about them sometimes.
2) What are you eating these days?
I’ve been going to farmers markets once or twice a week lately, on the hunt for peaches. They’re so perfect right now (interview was August 10), whether they’re in jams, salads, savory dishes, pastry, and of course in their natural form.
3) What was the first dish you remember cooking?
Kimchi egg fried rice? I had it for breakfast growing up, but also requested it as a snack a lot. So I think my mom got tired of making it for me so much and just taught me how instead.
4) What concept, ingredient, or food trend are you experimenting with these days?
We have a lot of gluten free clients, so I’ve been thinking about flour alternatives. I had never used sorghum flour before a few months ago. On the other hand, I’ve also been experimenting with some sourdough starters.
5) Who would you most like to cook or eat dinner with?
Honestly, I just love cooking with and eating with friends. It’s cool to get feedback from them and also see their styles.
6) What city, other than Tucson, is your favorite place to eat?
I went to New York for the first time pretty recently and had such a wide variety of amazing food. Also I’m nostalgic for German food, so I’m biased and going to say Stuttgart.
7) Speaking in junk food terms, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Oreos. I’ll start eating them, then look down and realize there’s only a few left in the package.
8) Which three Tucson restaurants do you frequent the most, aside from your own?
Yoshimatsu, Kimchi Time, and the Coronet.
9) With a figurative electric chair in your immediate future, what is your last meal?
The fudgiest brownie a la mode.
Catch Athene Kline at Five Points Market & Restaurant (or not) at 756 S. Stone. Visit 5pointstucson.com for more information.