Today's word of the day is viennoise. Well, maybe some of you are smarter than me and already familiar with the term. But I learned that my love for pain au chocolat, croissants and other similar baked goods were created with laminated (or layered) dough. I learned about this 175-year-old technique on a recent visit to Beaucoup Bakery - otherwise known as the best croissants in town. Scratch that. The best croissants and pain au chocolat outside of Paris. I'm not exaggerating as I've had my share of great pastries in the accumulated amount of time I've spent in France over the years. Biting into these layers of flaky happiness resulted in chunks of croissant bits in my hair and all over my sweater. I'm not a novice at eating these, and yet I felt like I was showering myself with pastry and laughing the entire time. That's the point, though, oui?
Owner Jackie Ellis obviously knows what she's good at. After building a design firm, she closed up shop, took a leap of faith and packed her bags for Paris to study pastry making. The result is simply superb French pastries. While she's not on site, Jackie has a very competent crew. Mina Hideshima (Back-of-House Manager) and Heath Sperling (Front-of-House Manager) are a husband-and-wife duo who run the show and make magic happen. They explained that Beaucoup is fully dedicated to personal development for their pastry chefs. In fact, every year, they send a select few to Paris to further refine their skills - at the same pastry school that Jackie graduated from. It's this devotion to the craft that secures their huge following in the popular Kitsilano/South Granville/Granville Island area.
When my boyfriend relocated from Paris to Vancouver for love, there was a part of me that ached knowing I wouldn't be visiting Paris as often (and it still aches today). But when I bit into that pain au chocolat with bits of flaky goodness sprinkled over me, I was so happy and for a moment, was back in the 6e arrondissement basking in the Parisian sun.
2150 Fir Street, Vancouver BC