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I t was 2011, and jackie kai ellis decided she simply couldn’t live with regret: Paris was calling and wanted to talk about her passion for baking. She listened, promptly shuttering her graphic-design firm and hightailing it to France to study pastry. “My life changed; I began to understand concepts like ‘indulgence in the everyday,’ ” she says. Upon returning home, she opened Beaucoup Bakery at the crossroads of High Gallic flaky-crust fare and personal style. Speaking of which, a diverse wardrobe is now essential: Ellis runs from business meetings and media appearances to parties and events — then back to Paris in January to lead her next Paris Tour
What’s the most beautiful piece in your closet?
A Valentino dress with a floral pattern on black; it reminds me of old Dutch/Flemish still-life paintings.
List three things you always pack when you travel to Paris.
Ballet flats (Paris is best on foot), a phenomenal dress for evenings out, and an effortless scarf to double as warmth on chilly planes (and to add a little style to basics).
Eating complicated pastries is part of my job. I love fruit in season, with a simple herb and topped with gelato.
What’s in your fridge?
Since I test in my kitchen, it’s always full of strange things: candied yuzu peel, pistachio paste, and a tarragon fennel pickle. What’s for dinner, you ask?
Your most cherished gift of late?
I recently got my first pair of hiking boots. I was skeptical at first but just didn’t realize they would take me to such beautiful places.