Taste of Heaven

After mastering her craft in Paris and New York, chocolatier Ashleigh Pearson opens Petite Soeur in time for Valentine’s Day

Inside her gleaming Georgetown store, Ashleigh Pearson (proper) arranges handmade bonbons in glass circumstances like positive jewellery. Petite Soeur’s debut marked a milestone in a 12-year profession that began lower than a mile away at chef Robert Wiedmaier’s acclaimed Marcel’s.

“I knocked on the door and mentioned I needed a job,” Pearson remembers. “I cherished to bake however had by no means performed it professionally. They laughed at me—however gave me an opportunity.” After working her means as much as develop into the restaurant’s head pastry chef, the DC-area native finally gained a scholarship from the native Les Dames d’Escoffier chapter to review pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Two years later, Pearson was named head chocolatier at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York—and narrowed her focus. “After I realized I may hand-paint and create all these complicated flavors in a single chunk,” she displays, “I used to be hooked on chocolate.”

In 2019, she returned to Washington to forge her personal path.
“I knew that it was time for me to start out creating below my identify,” she says. Pearson hopes to present prospects “a Michelin-level chocolate expertise,” with every taste telling a private story. Maple Black Walnut Crunch bonbons, for instance, had been impressed by her grandfather’s black-walnut cake, whereas Almond Butter and Jelly is a grownup tackle the proprietor’s beloved childhood PB&Js. Petite Soeur additionally sells selfmade butter sablé cookies, chocolate bars and wrapped confections. 1332 Wisconsin Avenue, NW; petite-soeur.com

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