In honor of our 2013 Best Of St. Louis issue, we're profiling some of the most fascinating winners from the Food & Drink section. The topic of this conversation: Best Bakery. Read the entire Best of St. Louis issue here.
La Patisserie Chouquette's (1626 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-7935) Best Bakery honors came at one of the business' busiest times. Its staff of pastry chefs, headed up by the intrepid Simone Faure, is working around the clock, smack dab in the middle of fall wedding season. The crew also recently hit up Yellow Tree Farm's pumpkin patch to gather goods for some special seasonal items, set to roll out in a week or two.
Still, Faure made time to walk us through her fall lineup of cakes and cookies -- and we have the mouth-watering photos to prove it.
See also: First Look: La Patisserie Chouquette
When asked what goes on behind the scenes at La Patisserie Chouquette, Faure replies, "Absolute shenanigans! It's chaos at its best! I love it! There are so many things that I want to do. However, there are only 24 hours in a day. I struggle with wanting to do it all now. Ugh! I'm exhausting."
During a visit to the shop this week, we scoped out the fall menu so far, which includes macarons dressed up in vibrant colors. The flavors include caramel apple, harvest pear, s'more, kettle corn, chai pumpkin pie, candied yam with toasted marshmallow, and red velvet.
Artificial cobwebs, plump pumpkins and other subtle Halloween-themed flair have already begun creeping their way into the bakery's elegant storefront. In coming weeks, autumn-lovers can look forward to plenty of pumpkin pastries, including pumpkin-pie croissants and pumpkin creme brûlée baked right inside tiny baby pumpkins.
In her spare time (whenever that is), Faure also began posting recipes and tips for home bakers on La Patisserie Chouquette's Facebook page, something she hopes to continue through holidays. Check out the first edition: a recipe for lychee gelle and chocolate chai mousse.
On top of everything else, La Patisserie Chouquette will soon add Sunday hours and on October 27, host a cake-walk event in support of breast-cancer research. Faure is whipping up pretty pink-ribbon-themed sugar cookies and will hold a silent auction.
The cake walk is kind of a full-circle event for Faure -- she recalls the first time she won a cake walk as a child and says the round chocolate layer cake she brought home that day was "life-changing."
St. Louis' culinary scene is lucky for that.
Click through to see some of the intricate cakes La Patisserie Chouquette created over the past month.