Venues in Australia have a fame for doing all of it. And whereas all-in-one ideas definitely have their place, there’s loads of room for people who take a special strategy — one which’s extra singular in focus. There’s no higher place to look than the pastry realm for examples of the thought; areas the place method trumps scale and small is sweeter.
Hospitality speaks to Yeongjin Park from Tenacious Croissant in Sydney and April Yoonhee Bae from The Flour Melbourne about their approaches to pastry, the event course of of latest merchandise, and riffing the classics.
Yeongjin Park began his profession in dough — bread, to be precise. Park spent 10 years baking in Korea earlier than he determined to maneuver to Australia to develop his culinary information, working within the kitchens of Russo & Russo, Lumi and Picco Leo in Sydney. It was right here at Picco Leo the place Park realized from Federico Zanellato (Leo; Lode; Lumi; Ele) and Karl Firla (Leo; Ele), mastering numerous croissants, doughnuts, and tarts alongside the cooks.
Skip forward to 2022 and Park determined to open Tenacious Croissant on Oxford Road,
culminating his culinary experiences to create a spread of pastries the town had by no means seen earlier than.
“I really feel fortunate to have labored with cooks who motivated me to try to make new creations,” he says. “Collectively, the Tenacious crew constantly researches totally different meals and drinks, and we all the time take into consideration extracting and mixing components from numerous cultures all over the world. At any time when I’ve spare time, I wish to go and check out totally different meals after which I take into consideration why it tastes good and attempt to mix the
components with my skilled expertise.”
It’s a mindset that’s evident throughout the Tenacious providing, which charts every little thing
from a kimchi sausage and cheddar cheese-stuffed croissant to grape or mango tarts, the ‘Jinius’ (croissant with raisins, caramelised white chocolate, and almond marzipan) and a riff on a traditional, which has gone on to turn into one in all Park’s most in-demand pastries.
“Portuguese tarts are formed like small cash with filling and are loved by many individuals, in order that’s the place my thought course of began,” he says. “What if the filling wasn’t as candy? What if the form was sq.? What if the highest was shinier? After
a number of checks, I lastly created a satisfying consequence.”
Whereas Tenacious has a core vary, Park and his crew are always experimenting with totally different flavours, however all of them have one factor in widespread — they sit in a league of their very own. “I make investments a variety of time into learning, and fortunately prospects present a variety of curiosity in unfamiliar dishes and so they appear curious to be taught extra about them,” says Park.
Such openminded-ness has led to the event of extra savoury merchandise together with the Spanish sub with sobrassada teamed with pickled shallots and bitter cream sauce on flaky pastry and a takoyaki croissant stuffed with octopus salad and showered in katsuobushi.
There’s additionally one other addition to the model en route within the type of Tenacious Madeleine, which is a challenge that’s at the moment within the works. “Our crew consists of individuals from totally different cultures, and we’re striving to create a cultural change hub via scrumptious bread and low,” says Park. “We began with croissants and now we’re doing madeleines as the start of this imaginative and prescient, as they’re the right
stability between desserts and cookies.”
Earlier than The Flour arrived in West Melbourne earlier this yr, Founder April Yoonhee Bae operated the model as an online-only enterprise. The previous Rockpool pastry chef had been making caneles for years and supplying cafés with the rum-flavoured French pastry earlier than she and husband Harry Hyun-suk Go determined to open the venue collectively.
“He’s a barista and labored for a inexperienced bean firm earlier than we got here up with the pastry café,” says Bae. “We wished to be near the CBD and I actually favored the situation and the environment of the world and the constructing, which is sort of previous.”
Bae has lengthy specialised in caneles, experimenting with flavours similar to chocolate
whereas The Flour was a web based enterprise, however determined to deal with the traditional iteration on the café. “Rum and vanilla is the most effective, so I eliminated the flavoured ones,” says the chef. “I consider easy is finest.”
The caneles are baked twice a day so prospects can take pleasure in them at their peak throughout a go to to the café, which is a light-weight, open room stuffed with Korean décor together with a moon jar crafted by Minhi Park and soban tables which are discovered all through the venue. It’s additionally a spot to take pleasure in espresso from Go, an award-winning barista who has turn into identified for his signature espresso bitter. “It’s a carbonated filter espresso blended with lime juice and blackcurrant,” says Bae. “We usually have round seven kinds of beans he selects and roasts.”
However there’s way more than simply caneles at The Flour, the place Bae bakes totally different desserts, financiers and dacquoise in addition to weekly additions that change based on what she is impressed to create on the time.
The chef says the caneles and the dacquoise are the preferred gadgets, with the 2 French pastries each specialty merchandise that require a deft contact. “I used to be impressed by a dried strawberry and mascarpone dacquoise at Rockpool, however I made it into a special form,” says Bae. The oval-shaped dacquoise are stuffed with a spread of fillings from strawberries and cream to hazelnut; passionfruit, mango, pineapple and lemongrass; and Uji matcha.
Whereas a lot of The Flour’s desserts are impressed by old-world French recipes, Bae
equally appears to her house nation of Korea and to Japan for each gear and concepts, with the chef highlighting substances similar to ssal-jocheong (rice syrup) and tea. “They’re superb at remaking issues in Korea, and I can simply get new moulds for financiers,” she says. “Sooner or later, I wish to introduce some extra Korean-inspired desserts and I’m going to make kimchi scones quickly.”
Utilizing native Australian produce together with Rosella flower and strawberry gum can be of curiosity to Bae, who’s incorporating many various culinary influences into her desserts. The Flour is generally a one-woman present, and whereas Bae has a part-time pastry chef, baking every little thing contemporary every day isn’t any imply feat. “90 per cent of the time, it’s me doing it on my own, however we nonetheless wish to broaden our vary of baked items and do extra French desserts.”
Tinned cookies have lengthy been a ardour challenge for Bae, who hopes to dedicate extra time to them sooner or later. Galettes Bretonnes are candy however salty butter biscuits from Brittany, France, and are the inspiration for Bae’s cookies that cowl traditional (rosella entire wheat flour) and pecan (natural brown rice) to chocolate hazelnut (triticale flour [rye and wheat], Valrhona chocolate). “Tinned cookies are my dream, and I wish to change the flavours seasonally,” says Bae. “We’ll do totally different shapes and use native butter, flour, and nuts. The flavour could be very nutty and so they go properly with brown rice flour and rosella flower jam.”
There’s no scarcity of selection for high-quality baked items, and cooks proceed to innovate and launch new merchandise that mix a number of culinary inspiration factors and end in some fairly unforgettable creations.