Finally … Kouign-amann (Where Has This Pastry Been All My Life?)
Today, Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery Beverly Hills officially opened and I was there for the festivities. Before things got rolling, I was able to get my first Kouign-amann. Wow – really lived up to its reputation. I’d call it a Crème brûlée Pastry – crunchy on the outside, creaminess inside. Really worth checking out!
For the ribbon cutting, there were a wide range of people in attendance including Mayor Barry Brucker of Beverly Hills who cut the ribbon, General Manager Steve Cook, Chef de Cuisine Rory Herrmann, Head Pastry Chef Roy Shvartzapel … and many more.
Bouchon Bakery Beverly Hills Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Mayor Brucker called Bouchon “a truly iconic restaurant in Beverly Hills”. He said the circle is now complete – referring to the fact that people may now get a Thomas Keller experience in Beverly Hills at any time of the day – morning, noon, afternoon or night.
After the Mayor cut the ribbon, I got a few minutes with him. He relayed that he’s very excited to have the Bakery here as they really didn’t have access to this level of baked goods in the area before. His favorite Bouchon food is Steak Frites … but, equally important to him, is the level of elegance, class, ambiance and service that all Thomas Keller restaurants bring. He also was struck by the kitchen in Bouchon, calling it “culinary art”.
Bouchon General Manager, Steve Cook.
General Manager Steve Cook was also effusive about his favorite Bouchon experiences which typically revolve around their Happy Hours which they now have both upstairs and downstairs. He likes the neighborhood people who tend to show up on certain days and the sense of community it builds. Upstairs, he said they have really cool tapas plates for the Happy Hour only – the fried oysters are exceptional, he says. They are on the top of my to-try list! And, now with the Bakery, he’s in love with the Kouign-amann which he says is amazing dipped into coffee like they sometimes do in France.
Pamela Dickinson, Manager at Bouchon Las Vegas.
Manager Pamela Dickinson manages the Dining Room at Bouchon in Las Vegas and also helped immensely with setting up the Bakery display in Beverly Hills. She said it was definitely a collaborative effort, all with Thomas’ vision at the base of it. The display case is constantly monitored throughout the day to ensure visual appeal which is done by creating a balanced landscape by adjusting height, light, color and continuity.
Pamela’s favorite Bouchon dishes are the ham and cheese baguette, the Kouign-amann (I think I see a theme here!), the Fruit Croissants and the Bouchons. I haven’t yet tried the Fruit Croissants but they sound amazing (croissants cut in half, spread with almond creme, fruit spread and almond streusel topping … then re-baked for a sumptuous finish). She was shocked when I told her I had not yet tried Parisian macarons … so she gave me some (pistachio, vanilla and chocolate). Thanks Pamela!
She said that they are the #1 seller throughout all Bouchon Bakeries. I can see why – they were light and lovely. My favorite was the vanilla because you can clearly taste the vanilla bean.
Now on to the Kitchen Tour … blog post to follow!