Downtown Chip Brown: Big Men Bake Too

Cupcake baker is probably the last career you'd imagine for Chip Brown. A towering 6 feet 5 inches, Brown has the physique of a football star--and the culinary sensibility of a pastry chef. Or your elderly aunt. A New York City native, Brown baked cakes for co-workers and for the catering business he started while working in politics, medicine, programming and web start-ups. That is, until he finally decided to quit his day job and start his own bakery.

Spinach cupcakes?
Spinach cupcakes?
Bryony Shearmur

At Big Man Bakes, which opened on Main Street downtown nine weeks ago, there are XL cupcakes ($3.25) and mini cupcakes ($1), but only a few flavors at a time, including Brown's signature carrot cupcakes and red velvet cupcakes. Frosting is important, says Brown, although he can't stand top heavy cupcakes--small, dense cakes burdened by inches of thick frosting. When asked to name a cupcake bakery in Los Angeles that he admires, Brown can't think of one, but he appreciates the competition: "I think there's room in the cupcake game for everyone."

Big Man Bakes: 413 S. Main St., Los Angeles; (213) 500-4351.

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