Move over cronuts, Kouign Amann are the “it” pastry of the moment. With its deliciousness turned up to an 11, this menage a trois of croissants, butter and cake (kouign amann literally means “butter cake”) is about as decadent as breakfast gets.
With layers of puffed dough, caramelized sugar and more butter than should be legal, they’re so worth whatever caloric damage inevitably follows.
And no one makes them better than Celine Plano, the new pastry chef at Pascaline Gourmet Shop. It’s in her blood, after all.
Having grown up in Brittany, Plano is well-versed in the complex and unforgiving creation of Breton’s most famous cake. “These are from where I’m from,” she says, pointing the kouign amann (pronounced “queen yamman”) among the meticulous rows of muffins, scones, breads and cakes she’s made that morning. And unlike the leaden American pastries made with heavy bread dough, most of Plano’s patisserie are based in brioche or layer puff pastry.
But wait, there’s more! Plano is just half of the dynamic French duo behind the newly-opened breakfast and lunch spot along Gravenstein Hwy (next to Mom’s Apple Pie).
The other half of the team is Didier Pascal Ageorges, the former culinary powerhouse of Chalk Hill Winery, SF’s Ritz-Carlton and Hotel du Palais Biarritz in France. Plano worked with Ageorges at the Ritz-Carlton, and is Chef and Technical Advisor to Callebaut, the world’s largest premium chocolate manufacturer.
Not that sweets are all you’ll find at Pascaline Gourmet Shop. Open just a few weeks, they’re open for lunch as well, with simple but luxurious salads, and sandwiches (Croque Monsieur). The team also does catering and events, and Didier said they plan on including pop-up dinners and other surprises as they settle into the space.
Stay tuned for more tastes from Pascaline. (The din of people asking about this spot was getting pretty loud, so I figured I’d go snarf some goodies to give you the heads up.)
Um, yeah. Why are you still reading this without a mouth full of pastries?
Pascaline Gourmet Shop, 4550 North Gravenstein Hwy, Sebastopol, (707) 521-9348, open Tuesday through Sunday, 7a.m. to 7p.m.