Over 1600 bakers participated in the recent selection of the 12 finalists by French Morning readers. The best croissant of 2023 will be chosen on Sunday, March 19, at the 5th&MAD in Manhattan, in front of a panel of professional chefs.
The twelve bakeries will come and present their pastries and both Frenchly and French Morning readers will be able to go from stand to stand, taste the croissants, and select the best of them by awarding the “Fan Prize.” Our judges, a panel of professional chefs, will award the Grand Prize after blind tasting all the croissants.
If you’re in the New York area and want to participate in this fun event, book your ticket: it’s here. You will see, by clicking on “tickets” that there is a menu for several ticket combos, including one with cocktails (Mimosa and Bellini). We’re going to enjoy ourselves!
The finalist bakeries are listed in alphabetical order:
Winner of last year’s New York Best Baguette competition (Judges’ Award), Breads Bakery is back among the finalists for Best Croissant. The bakery, which focuses on using natural and organic ingredients, has grown in leaps and bounds since its founding in 2013. It now has four locations: The flagship location in Union Square, one in Bryant Park, another in Lincoln Center and the one on the Upper East Side.
This Caroll Gardens trio has come a long way since the bakery was founded in 2021. Sabrina Labouré, Nelly Azambre and Teddy Collet have opened a location in Brooklyn and continue their online, made-to-order sales. They participated in our best baguette contest last year.
A newcomer to the competition, this East Hampton bakery on Long Island has become a well-known café and restaurant for Hamptons residents and vacationers over the years. In a beachy atmosphere, chef and co-owner Carissa Waetcher offers a range of breads and pastries, including croissants, of course.
With two Brooklyn locations, Greenpoint and Cobbe Hill, Polish-born French Culinary Institute-trained chef, Michael Lechowicz, and his sister Magda’s patisserie will be showcasing its pure butter croissants, one of its specialties on its French menu.
New Yorkers are familiar with the grocery stores in the World Trade Center, Lincoln Center and the Plaza Food Court, where the famous French chef offers a selection of pastries and French products, from sandwiches to canelés, including croissants. The pastries are made by François Brunet, the head baker and pastry chef, who has been with the Daniel Boulud Dinex group for nearly 10 years.
This will be the first time Julien Khalaf will present his croissants made with puff pastry, his specialty. A former pastry chef at François Payard in Greenwich Village, the baker has opened no less than four Julien Boulangerie locations since December 2020, the first in Park Slope and three more on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Of all the success stories on this list, L’Appartement 4F is certainly the most dazzling. An engineer for a software company in New York City, Gautier Coiffard, began baking his own bread a few weeks before the pandemic began and, as lockdown continued, grew it with his wife, Ashely Breest, into a small-batch bakery out of their apartment. Eventually, they opened a location in Brooklyn Heights, and the line has not thinned outside the bakery since. Their mini cereal croissants have made the front page of almost every media outlet in France.
You may have discovered this New Jersey bakery during our “Best Baguette” contest. French baker, Arben Gasi, managed to turn his hobby into a profession and, after training in France, opened this stellar bakery in Montclair.
Canvas wallpaper, wooden farm tables and blue and white tableware… In less than 10 years, since the opening of their first boutique in SoHo, Elisa Marshall and her husband, Benjamin Sormonte, have established their brand and their rustic chic Provencal style not only in New York and New Jersey but also in Washington DC and Pennsylvania.
Jaleesa “Jay” Mason and her husband Mohamad “Mo” Al-Kassem continue their New Jersey adventure. The two Maison Kayser alumni, who started out in 2016 selling madeleines wholesale from their Hackensack apartment, eventually opened their pastry shop in Little Falls, near Montclair and have built quite a reputation for their eclairs, in particular. But, don’t be fooled” they are determined to win the award for best croissant.
An “accidental” baker (he became one while on a family vacation in Iceland), Nicholas Heavican has made a successful conversion, to the point that his bakery has become a Brooklyn mainstay. The former professional photographer opened another bakery last year in the former post office in Spring Lake, New Jersey.
The Brooklyn-based caterer, which has been offering an array of savory and sweet pies, cakes and cocktails for more than a decade, recently branched out into traditional French dishes, breads and pastries, with the September 2021 recruitment of a sous chef, Pauline Suchon, and last year’s recruitment of an executive chef, Nicolas Buchot, Maison Kayser alum. Fans of the French Morning Best Baguette competition already know Pistache. They will be back on March 19, accompanied by Pistache owner, Yvan Bedouet, to present their crispy croissants.