I hear her before I see her, and I like it. In the middle of telling a story in a nearly empty bar in Downtown Saratoga Springs, Austin Bayliss is regaling a small group of friends with a tale so fantastical and amusing that nothing else seems to be happening in this very moment on Earth: This woman is a lot of things—award-winning caterer, master innkeeper, loving mother and wife—but she’s also a gold-medal-grade raconteur. Is she ever.
Smart, optimistic, funny, talented, Austin will not be ignored. Married to former pro baseball player Jonah Bayliss, Austin is that rare powerful person who becomes more herself in the presence of her equally formidable life partner. Austin doesn’t shrink from a fight, from a joke, from a moment of silence—she’s a fighter who will charm and delight you in ways you didn’t realize possible. And then there’s her cooking. Oh. My.
Yes, she’s well known as the world’s greatest baker of cakes—the masterpiece she created for my recent birthday is the stuff legends are made of—but it’s her savory dishes that have me begging for more. Her chili quite literally brings me to tears.
So, here she is, this passionate New England Patriots fan, married to the man of her dreams, mom to what could be the world’s best six year old, in a city she has fallen hard for. Is life really as good as it seems for the best caterer in Saratoga? Let’s find out.
What has been the most surprising thing about living in Saratoga?
For me, it’s the incredible restaurants. I don’t feel so guilty anymore that I cook for everyone else but my own family.
How did you end up with your home, mom and job on the same block?
Very lucky I guess. We relocated to Saratoga quickly, and moved in with my mom so our daughter could begin school. Friends told us that the house across the street was available, the very involved grandmother thought the location was “absolutely perfect” and so did we. Joining the Petrosinos, the owners of The Inn At Five Points, was just a home run; I found the ideal kitchen to work in and the ideal people to run an inn with.
What’s the secret to a truly great cake?
Ahhhh, if you know me, you know this one: a pinch of salt.
So what’s the big dream?
My dreams are forever changing but, for right now, being in a new city, I just want everyone to try my dark chocolate espresso cake. Let’s start there.
The absolute best part of being a mom? A wife? Having a career?
The greatest thing about being a mom… I love seeing Jovi’s kind and loving spirit every day. Not only am I overcome with pride, but I’m reminded and inspired to be the same. The greatest thing about being a wife…knowing that I have unconditional support in any adventure I take on. The greatest thing about having a career…I love that every day is different and unknown. I like to say “yes” to it all, and just figure it out as I go.