Those faithful to pure butter croissants will be surprised. The vegan croissants of L’Artisane Creative Bakery seduced the elite jury’s taste buds to take home the Grand Prize at Miami’s Best Croissant competition.
Seven finalists, selected by Frenchly and French Morning readers, rolled up their sleeves for the first edition of the competition held Sunday, April 15, at the National Hotel in Miami Beach.
“It is an honor to have dethroned my French competitors,” jokes a happy Carolina Molea, the Venezuelan chef of L’Artisane Creative Bakery, who makes the margarine- and plant milk-based pastries in her establishment that opened on Collins Avenue a few months ago. “This title proves above all that vegan products have a bright future ahead of them since their taste seems to be quality,” she adds.
“It’s a nice surprise, her croissants have a nice shape, they’re crispy, and they make us feel like we’re in France,” raves Gregory Gourreau, executive chef of Juvia in Miami Beach. “The L’Artisane Creative Bakery team proves to us that France does not have an exclusive mastery of the croissant and that the know-how is exporting,” adds Vincent Catala, pastry chef and cook.
The taste, the puffiness and flake, the shape, and even the bake, the members of the jury scrutinized each of the finalists’ products with a blind taste-test before making their decisions. “There is a very high level of talent among the candidates because, and we must not forget, in the United States the raw materials are different from those found in France, and with the humidity of Miami, it is really difficult to make a good flakey pastry, yet the finalists all surprised us by making exceptional products much better than even some Parisian bakeries,” explains Mickaël Marchand, executive chef at the Grand Beach Hotel Surfside.
A second prize was awarded by the jury for the best pain au chocolat. It was given to the bakery Zak the Baker.” It’s a great reward for the work my team does every day,” says Maxime Rossetto, pastry chef at this Wynwood neighbourhood boulangerie. “It’s a job of passion that takes a lot of time because to make our pain au chocolat, it takes more than three days, between mixing, turning, shaping and finally baking.”
The public, meanwhile, was not left out of this sweet afternoon. More than 300 people, who came to taste croissants, pains au chocolat, and other pastries, were invited to vote on their favorite bakery to win the Fan Prize. After receiving the title of Miami’s Best Baguette in 2017, David Thau and his team from La Provence won this year’s award. “It’s a bittersweet satisfaction since we would have liked to be at the top of the winner’s podium,” he explains. “We’ll have to reassess and make the necessary adjustments so that next year the title does not escape us.”