Parker-Lusseau uses time-honored French techniques to create some of the most memorable sweet and savory baked goods on the West Coast. And the family-owned business has been at it for 23 years.
When Anne Parker Johnson and Yann Lusseau first launched their project, it was pretty groundbreaking and, at times, under-appreciated. “We decided I should keep a steady job,” said Anne, who continued working as a pastry chef at The Highlands Inn in Carmel. The original team was Yann and dishwasher/prep cook.
“In the beginning, we’d have some pretty quiet days,” Anne said. “We’d give things away.”
Fast forward a couple of decades, and the successful operation has expanded to three locations, all enjoying a reputation for exceptional sweets and savories.
It’s all about quality ingredients
Yann, a native of France, began working as an apprentice at age 14. Over the years, he has perfected the technique for combining flour and butter into a dough that bakes into the kind of flaky texture rarely found outside the birthplace of the croissant.
“We use a hard wheat flour that’s high in gluten and a European butter that’s got a low water content,” Anne said. That makes for a dough that’s fairly firm and bakes into layers of the kind of crisp teeth shatter and tastebuds celebrate by going back in for another bite. No wonder the almond croissant is the bakery’s perennial best seller.
The secret to the incredible quiche
The same traditional techniques that make the sweets shine are applied to the spectacular quiche. “We pre-bake the crust, so it stays crisp,” Anne explained. Those are filled with an ultra-rich custard base of eggs, heavy cream and whole milk, plus various meat and veggies. They’re sold as individual servings, or whole, 9-inch tarts.
The All-American twist
While the cases are filled with pastries that have a decidedly French accent, the cookies are firmly rooted in homestyle American recipes. With one exception: “They’re crisp and bite-size,” Anne said. French and Belgian chocolate make those goodies so crave-worthy.
Sip on this
The lineup of pastries need a partner, so Parker-Lusseau features drinks made with Acme Coffee Roasting Company beans. That micro-roaster is located in nearby Seaside, and it serves a selection Parker-Lusseau pastries at its shop. That’s some sweet synergy.
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Source: Thanks https://www.forbes.com/sites/lesliekelly/2019/12/06/this-monterey-bakery-makes-the-most-beautiful-pastries/