This year our 2015 Reader Restaurant Awards have four personality-based categories: Best Chef, Best Manager, Restaurant Personality of the Year, and Food Entrepreneur of the Year. During the voting period that runs through March 8, we’re profiling a few of this year’s crop of nominees.

This time around we present Jonathan Ellis, owner, founder and baker at Big Bear Baked Goods, maker of some of the 'Jing's best cookies. “Food Entrepreneur of the Year,” nominee.

TBJ: Give us a snapshot of what you do.
At night I do prep for baking the next day, chopping and weighing different ingredients. The following morning I start mixing and baking and setting other pastries aside for 24-hour refrigeration. Then I work on getting different orders to various places.

TBJ: How big is your operation?
Right now, like today? Just me. Sometimes I have other helpers. I hope to be hiring very soon.

TBJ: What was the inspiration behind this idea?
Sh*tty cookies. Can I say sh*tty here? How about: not very good cookies, or baked goods for that matter in Beijing.

TBJ: How is your business contributing to the food scene in Beijing?
I'm giving it what it needs most: quality cookies

TBJ: Tell us about one of your favorite places to eat in Beijing,aside from your own.
Different places for different reasons. I'd say Mosto always has a good feel, an all-around balance of food and environment. Mercante has an impeccable personal touch. Lastly, Palms LA Kitchen. It has good food that consistently reminds me of California.

Click here to read previous editions of A Few Words With wherein we profile some of the top players in Beijing's food scene during the voting period for the 2015 Reader Restaurant Awards, which runs through March 8.

Photo: The Beijinger

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