Pastry chef Laura Pyles has gained national attention for creating outstanding desserts with a tinge of nostalgia at places like Revel, Joule, and Book Bindery. I was disappointed to hear her bakery shop project with Joshua Henderson didn’t pan out, so it's tremendous news that Pyles will be doing a bimonthly bakery popup at Brimmer and Heeltap.
It's called Parchment, the same moniker as her would-be project with Henderson and starts April 6 (returning April 20) from 7am to 1pm. Pyles promises a variety of treats that combine her affinity for retro desserts and an obsession with Asian flavors acquired during her time at Revel and Joule. She's a fan of sweet-salty interplay, and there is talk of potato chip brownies, and bundt cakes in "fun grandma flavors" like butterscotch, rum almond and double chocolate toffee.
This is a logical juncture to discuss Pyles's plans to open her own place, but after her original Parchment plans didn't transpire, she's starting small and taking things as they come. She considered returning to the restaurant world full-time, but says she's "feeling more in the bakery mindset these days," as opposed to a restaurant kitchen, where pastry chefs generally spend the day creating the components of the dessert menu so others can assemble and plate them during the night's dinner service. "I miss being able to do that completed product sell it as a whole, and see the person who comes and picks it up."
For this first month, Pyles is a one-woman show, pulling an epic all-night baking bender then setting up shop to actually sell her creations the next morning. If her bakeshop proves popular, she'll do it more often—hopefully with an employee or two.
The pubby Brimmer and Heeltap feels like a good match for Pyles's style, plus it's the culinary domain of Mike Whisenhunt a fellow Revel/Joule alum. She's also consulting on the restaurant's dessert menu; it will introduce her creations this weekend; look for a coconut and key lime tart with a tamarind caramel and a triple ginger gluten-free carrot cake with deep-fried almonds and vanilla syrup that Pyles proclaims "one of my favorite cakes of all time, and trust me—I eat gluten every day."
Keep up with Parchment on its Facebook page.