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If you’ve ever dreamt of spending your days surrounded by cakes, cookies and ice cream, Karys Plaxe’s job might just be your dream one.

After adding several notches to her culinary belt in New York, where she worked under famed pastry chefs like Francisco Migoya and Noah Carroll, Karys has been the Pastry Chef at Black Sheep Restaurants Group, including Gelato Messina and Butter Cake Shop, for the last three years. She spends her days immersing herself in the sugary world of desserts, including bringing us the Butter Cookies truck outside La Vache! in Pacific Place (as well as the delectable dessert trolley inside).

As part of The Style Sheet’s Day in the Life series, we discover what a day for the Arizona native and ‘Queen of Butter’ looks like.

Karys Plaxe is Pastry Chef at Black Sheep Restaurant Group, and spends her days surrounded by sweets


‘I typically wake up around six-thirty or seven a.m., and start by spending some time journalling or reading — I’m currently reading Little Weirds by comedian Jenny Slate. But the most important part of the morning is feeding our pet bunnies, Chester and Louey. They get a multivitamin and a big handful of hay, I get a multivitamin and a big thermos of coffee! By eight o’clock I’m headed to the minibus and on my way to work.’

Karys often spends morning working on cookies for the Butter truck at Pacific Place


‘Mornings either mean starting at Butter or Messina, depending on the needs of the day. If I’m at Butter, I check in on the first round of cookies baked for Pacific Place. My other priorities for the morning include preparing desserts for all Black Sheep restaurants per the orders sent the night before from the chefs, putting away daily goods orders and slicing cakes for the Butter shop.’

After working on pastries, Karys meets and often lunches with her team


‘Noon means the arrival of the afternoon Butter squad, where we do a midday crossover. We catch up on what orders have been sent to restaurants, what production tasks are needed for the day and who’ll be working on which decorating projects. These meetings are also where we share special announcements, menu change notes and any learnings or issues from recent items. We wrap up the brief crossover and I lead the group with a different type of stretch or two each day — it’s a small way to keep everyone mindful of taking care of their bodies. Then the team is back into scaling, mixing, baking and decorating.

Lunch break for me is usually early afternoon, taking a quick walk to to our staff venue Team Canteen for the vegetarian meal of the day. It’s a great place to sit and have a bite and a chat, usually with my husband Jared, who’s the chef at Messina.’

Karys spends some afternoons checking in on the team at the Butter truck outside La Vache!


‘Afternoons vary a lot for me. Some days are centred around meetings, like the Black Sheep Family Fund Committee, Soho Chefs Group, pastry manager meetings or Butter and Messina weekly team meetings. I might also check the cookie truck at Pacific Place or decorate a specialty custom cake. Black Sheep is a place of constant innovation and forward movement, so there’s never a shortage of new projects, pop-ups, research and development, and brainstorming to work on.’

Evenings are spent market shopping and cooking a healthy dinner

Early Evening 

‘After wrapping up at each shop, I spend a bit of time attending to any additional admin, like checking and reviewing the day’s invoices, answering emails and confirming the team’s upcoming schedule. On my way home, I cruise through the market for veggies, tofu and anything else we need for dinner — the wet markets are one of my favourite parts about living in Hong Kong! I like to take the tram home for a few minutes to decompress with a podcast or messaging with friends.’


‘Yoga is my most important self-care practice, and an essential part of every day. For me, it’s a beautiful connection of strength and flexibility between body and mind. I enjoy studio classes, as well as more quiet opportunities to practice in the park or at home, by myself or with Jared. He’s a great cook and usually organises dinner. I shop, he cooks, we split the dishes. Some of our dinner go-tos are things like broccoli quinoa salad, tofu sesame rice paper rolls or vegetarian tom yum. I wind down by spending time with our bunnies, painting and watching TV, and before long it’s time for bed.’

Feeling hungry? Adding another Black Sheep hotspot to the neighbourhood, The Upper House has teamed up with Artemis & Apollo until 30 September. The exclusive pop-up is an ode to vibrant, fresh lunches savoured on leisurely afternoons on the Greek islands.