Musing on the Macarons in OC topic
reminded me of Sweet Lilikoi's very good examples.
I featured Sweet Lilikoi owner-patissiere Louise Chien's fabulous apple tart on the Nibbles & Bits page in the November Orange Coast
. (Not online, but here's a link to the table of contents
, with info on getting a digi copy if interested.)
Chien trained as a chef at the Pasadena Le Cordon Bleu before turning to pastry on the job. I always find that the best pastry chefs have a deep understanding of savory, and Chien certainly fits my theory. Her stuff is restrained in its use of plain sweetness, and also design-wise... each handmade item is so beautiful. Not rustic, by any means?exceedingly refined, in fact?but too not with the off-putting veneer of plasticky overdoneness that afflicts some pastry. Her calm demeanor is reflected in every one.
In Sweet Lilikoi
pastries, fruit tastes like fruit, the lozenge in the signature chocolate croissant is Callebaut, and there is no fear that shortening lurks in crusts. It's all butter, baby, exactly as it should be. Worth nothing is the sheer range of her offerings?the aforementioned delicate macarons, but also everything else you might want, pastry-wise, from cakes and cupcakes to cookies, pies, and pretty elaborate fantasies.
Louise maintains a Sweet Lilikoi table at the Saturday Old Towne Orange Farmers Market, and also supplies restaurants and coffee shops. Once you get a look at her style, you'll recognize it a mile away. And once you get a taste, you'll be a fan!