Derbydoodles and Chocolate Trifectas: Chef Robert Twardzik on Passion for Cookies, Horse RacingPop Culture
Chef Robert Twardzik is known for his artisan crafted and delicious cookies, pastries, cakes and confections. He recently launched Southport Cookie Company with his renditions of the great American classics – cookies such as Derbydoodle®, Lemon Chiffon Cream, Chocolate Chip Cream, Chocolate Trifecta®, Buckeye, Butter Crunch® and more. The perfect gift and the perfect treat!
We caught up with Chef Robert and learned more about his love for horse racing, his early introduction to the sport and how he’s carrying that passion forward with his cookie business today.
When were you introduced to horse racing and what made you become a fan? I watched my first horse race at Saratoga with my Uncle Pat when I was 7 years old. He was an avid racing fan, as was my mother who was also an accomplished horsewoman.
What’s your favorite racetrack and why? My favorite track is Del Mar. My Uncle Pat took me to San Diego and Del Mar and it was so different from the tracks I knew in New York, New Jersey, and Florida. But Churchill Downs is on my bucket list!
When did you found Southport Cookie Company and what is your background as a pastry chef? I launched Southport Cookie Company in the fall of 2020. I’m a former architect specializing in hospitality design, but I swapped my T-square for a rolling pin about 15 years ago to seek new challenges. I graduated from Peter Kump’s Cooking School in New York City and was mentored by master chocolatier Jacques Torres. I worked as assistant pastry chef at Danny Meyer’s Tabla and at Chanterelle, both in New York.
Why did you choose to name cookies with horse racing connections and how did that come about? Racing-themed names for some of my cookies fit perfectly and honored the racing traditions of my Uncle Pat and my mom.
What’s your best-seller? Two of our three best-sellers are the racing-themed cookies. The Derbydoodle® (my version of a Snickerdoodle) and the Chocolate Trifecta® (chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate!)
Are you contemplating future cookies with additional tie-ins to horse racing? Southport Cookie Company is launching the Win, Place, and Show (a 3-flavor bundle) later this month in time for the Kentucky Derby.
Where can people find your cookies? Our cookies are available through our website, www.southportcookiecompany.com, and are delivered locally in Fairfield Co. Connecticut, and shipped worldwide.
Can you share how you became friends with Martha Stewart? Martha reached out after seeing and tasting my cookies and pastries at a party she attended. I have been fortunate to collaborate with Martha on television and social media. Her talent, work ethic and intellectual curiosity are a great inspiration.
What horse racing event had you never attended that you’d like to attend one day? The Kentucky Derby of course. I’ve been a huge fan forever. My Uncle Pat took me to his club to watch the Derby every year and I became a certified Secretariat nerd. He gave me a picture of Secretariat winning the Derby and an autographed photo of Eddie Sweat and Secretariat.
What’s your go-to bet when playing the ponies? Exacta Box.