I’m Michelle Kalan, the pastry chef behind Michelle’s Mad Batter. Born and raised in Mitchell, I stumbled upon my pastry passion in high school when I discovered a Harry Potter inspired Butterbeer cupcake. Not much later, during a family vacation in Charleston, South Carolina, I discovered the culinary school of my dreams. Could it be fate? After my time at Mitchell High School, I moved to foody central Charleston. I expanded my skills at The Culinary Institute of Charleston specializing in Baking and Pastry, graduating in 2017.
Along the way, I worked at Kaminsky’s Dessert Café and Wild Dunes Resort honing my skills and solidifying my love of my craft. Wild Dunes Resort will forever be a special place; it’s where I perfected my best-selling macaron! Charleston is also where I met my husband, Blake and after a few years, we packed up our family and moved to Virginia to be closer to his family. My dreams blossomed in Virginia as I joined the staff at James Madison University and later Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community as Pastry Chef – a title earned through hard work and dedication, not given at graduation. At both locations, I ran my own kitchen and even a pastry shop while creating large volume custom orders and learning the business part of pastries. It’s also where I realized I wanted to work for myself and have full creative control.
Unsure of the next steps to get there, I made the logical choice and quit my job. Knowing where we would thrive the best and provide a new opportunity to my favorite community, we moved back to Mitchell after 6 years of being gone. From an at-home operation to a storefront pastry shop, I have loved creating goodies for the important moments in your lives.
How did Michelle’s Mad Batter come to be?
Michelle’s Mad Batter was formed in Charleston, SC one rainy afternoon after classes were finished and I needed something more to do. A simple start yet it followed me to every new city and state and grew with each move.
Once we returned to South Dakota, I knew it was time to take it further. With the love and support from my friends and family, we decided the time had come to make my dream of owning a bakery our new reality. While all areas of pastry are my favorites, I specialize in macarons, wedding cakes, dessert tables, cheesecakes, and more!