Beaucoup Bakery owner Jackie Kai Ellis recently returned from a short, food-focused field trip to Madrid, Spain. Once again – as with her field trip to Paris last winter and to New York this past Fall – right before she left she promised us that she’d snap some photographs of the very best edibles that she came across. Go ahead and click through the images above to see (and almost taste).
Local food lover and Beaucoup Bakery owner Jackie Ellis has just returned from a short, whirlwind trip to New York City, a place she call the foodie-land of milk, honey and abundant pizza.” As with her trip to Paris last winter, before she left she promised us that she’d snap some shots of the best edibles that she came across. “By no means is this an all-conclusive list,” she cautions. “It’s just the best of what I tried, and mostly it means I need to go back for more research.” And so behold, the food porn of one of our best bakers…
1. Peanut Butter & Jelly Croissant – NoMad Hotel | I’m often skeptical of traditional pastries with decadent additions like bacon or PBJ. Don’t get me wrong, they can be amazing, I’ve found it’s incredibly hard to find the balance without relying heavily on a novelty. When a pastry-lover friend recommended Pastry Chef Sarah Rosenberg’s PBJ and Boston cream croissants at NoMad, I knew they had to be good. Let me just say, it was INSPIRING! The PBJ croissant was filled with a raspberry pâte de fruits, enrobed in a light glaze scented with peanut butter and topped with roasted peanuts and cubes of the same pâte de fruits. It was elegant and comforting all at once. A must taste!
2. Famous Original Pizza – Roberta’s | Tomato, mozzarella, oregano, chili, caciocavello. It’s simple, flavourful and the crust is perfectly thin and chewy. It rivals the ones I’ve tasted in Naples. There’s usually a long wait so put your name down, go next door to their bar, order some small plates and beer, and sit beside their wood burning fireplace to keep warm. Or do what I did, get one to go and eat it on the street right in front.
3. DKA (Dominique Kouign Amann) & Canelé – Dominique Ansel | During my visit, the pastry Dominique Ansel was most excited to share was not his new Cronut flavour. It was the DKA and his canelé. He is sure to slip these into every tasting as these are his personal favourites. He perfected his version making them for the kitchen team during his time with Daniel Boulud. He knew he was on to something when everyone fawned over them. I could see why! The DKA is a lot lighter and fluffier than a traditional Kouign Amann, while still maintaining the essence of the original. The best part, there was a great salt/sweet balance in the pastry.
4. Kobe Beef – Bouley | I don’t think I really understood the hype around Kobe beef until the moment I tasted this dish. It was the most tender, flavourful and juicy strip of beef I’d tasted and changed my mind about just how good beef could be. It was served with ricotta gnocchi and a caramelized onion jam.
5. Cookie – S’mores Bakery | Some call me a cookie snob…I usually just whistle and pretend to be looking at something in the sky. Don’t hate, I’m just passionate about good cookies! I don’t discriminate either, gourmet or of the Oreo variety. I absolutely loved this cookie from S’mores Bakery in Brooklyn. It was all about texture and was much like a cross between a cookie and a brittle.
6. Prime Rib Sandwich – Eataly | This is a “prime” example of simplicity at its best (sorry for the pun, had to do it). Imagine this: a crusty baguette, the soft middle drizzled in grassy olive oil, stuffed with warm, finely shaved prime rib and finished with crunchy sea salt. That was it, great ingredients, done properly! Mark of a great sandwich. Eataly is also Italian food heaven and must be visited.
7. Toro & Wild Mushrooms – Bouley | The edges of this charred toro had the most lovely texture and taste, it was slightly crispy and caramelized from the fat of the belly. Yes, just like pieces of caramelized pork belly but in tuna form. They were nestled amongst wild mushrooms and a garlic foam, which added a contrast in texture and classic compliment in flavours.
8. Halva Spread – Brooklyn Sesame – Smorgasburg | Brooklyn Sesame is doing delicious things with this halva spread, particularly the roasted sesame. It’s a stand-out addition to all the nut spreads on the market with its thick, creamy texture and fragrant flavour. I sampled this halva spread at Smorgasburg, a food flea market in Brooklyn which showcases around 100 food vendors. It’s a food destination that cannot be missed and is only on the weekends until November 24th.
9. Bread Basket – Il Buco | The food is amazing at Il Buco with a menu of seasonal and classic dishes. Among the ones I tried were a burrata salad with radicchio and persimmon and a white truffle pasta. However, the bread…crisp, shattering crust and airy, chewy crumb. Everyone knows a good bread is hard to find!
10. Freshly Squeezed OJ – NoMad Hotel | No, really. How good could an orange juice be? Good enough for me to be dreaming about it a week later. If you’re there, or even just passing by and happen to be thirsty, please try it. I do warn you though, it will ruin all other orange beverages for you.
An extra just for good measure (top left). If you’re in the area, Saxon + Parole has some impressive cocktails and beautiful wine room. I’ve heard the food is just as satisfying. Judging by their well-balanced cocktails, I wouldn’t be surprised! Shown here is the fall spice sazerac with house made marshmallows.
We’ve invited the excellent Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe to join our GOODS section as an outstanding place to alleviate cravings. They are now proud members of Scout, and as such we will be posting their news in addition to hosting a page for them on our curated list of independent goodnesses. We’d like to take this chance to thank them for their support, and for making Vancouver a tastier place to be.
Jackie Ellis, baker and owner
ABOUT BEAUCOUP BAKERY
Beaucoup Bakery & Café opened its doors in December 2012, offering French-inspired pastries and childhood favourites with some smart, unique twists. The reason for opening Beaucoup Bakery was simple, to leave the world a happier place, even if through something as simple as a cookie. The company’s priority is to put care and pride into everything it does, from the ingredients used and the little details that go into the baking, through to the way the company treats valued customers and friends.
“At Beaucoup Bakery, we want to share amazing food, prepared with passion,” says owner and baker Jackie Ellis. “The biggest compliment we can receive is seeing someone’s eyes roll back and hear them say that it’s the best thing they’ve ever tasted! We strive to make people love food as much as we do!”
Beaucoup Bakery offers sweet pastries, cakes, seasonal tarts, cookies and viennoiserie, along with sandwiches made in-house—all of which can be enjoyed “to go” or in the charming 16-seat café. The café also includes a small retail area featuring hand-picked food and lifestyle items that match Beaucoup’s commitment to quality: coffee from Vancouver roaster 49th Parallel, Mellifera Bees honey, Lovely Home Idea linens, Black & Blum water bottles and Aquaovo thermoses.
HONOURS AND RECOGNITION
“The opening of Ellis’s South Granville bakery was delayed and then delayed again. And again. The resulting wait created a near-unmeetable expectation upon opening. Which, with the help of her perfect croissants and other transformative pastries, Ellis has been able to exceed.”
Western Living, March 2013 – 40 Foodies Under 40
WE Vancouver’s Best of the City 2013: Best Patisserie – 3rd Place
WE Vancouver, February 27, 2013
“Graphic designer turned boulanger Jackie Ellis opened her South Granville bakery just before Christmas, and made us wonder how we ever did without her decadent treats.”
Vancouver Magazine, Jan/Feb 2013
Scout will be reporting from France next month, so when we heard that Beaucoup Bakery owner Jackie Ellis was going ahead of us, we asked her to keep tabs on the top 25 edibles that she came across in her adventures. “After 20 pastry shops, 13 restaurants, 2 pastry courses, and a Valrhona chocolate factory tour,” she says, “these are the results of my 2 weeks of gastronomic research in Paris.” Bon appetit after the jump…. Read more
by Andrew Morrison | I took a look-see inside the Beaucoup Bakery construction site at 2150 Fir St. yesterday with owner Jackie Ellis. The kitchen is looking 80% complete and the floor/display area is probably at 50%. There’s still a lot of stuff incoming, including the full display case, a retail island, what sounds like a really cool antique wooden coffee cart, and a reclaimed wood table (bar height) for the window with iron feet. The little bakery that will provide us with things like salted caramel éclairs filled with caramel pastry cream (sprinkled with black hawaiian sea salt, natch) is a little behind schedule due to things beyond Ellis’ control (the entire building has been delayed), but it’s still coming together nicely. For now, Ellis is fine tuning her recipes at home and looking forward to test driving all her new equipment once all is permitted and ready. She’s now looking at the end of the month to unleash the place, together with her kouign amann, marcona almond bars, macarons, croissants, pain au chocolat, valrhona brownies with crystallized violet, 49th Parallel coffee, and much more. Dig all the natural light and exposed girders in the shots below…
Andrew Morrison lives and works in Vancouver as editor-in-chief of Scout, food columnist at the Westender, and National Referee & Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He also contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and television shows on local food, culture and travel; collects inexpensive things; and enjoys rare birds, skateboards, cocktails, shoes, good pastas, many songs, and the smell of camp fires.
by Andrew Morrison | There’s a new bakery/cafe slated to open at 2150 Fir St. by the end of the summer. Owner Jackie Ellis spent 9 years in a graphic design career before she decided to turn her baking passion into Beaucoup. She says the concept will see a combination of childhood favourites and modern French pastries using only the highest quality ingredients and trying to source as much local, in-season fruits as possible. The baked goods will be buttressed by 49th Parallel coffee and Ellis is working with Oyama to create sandwiches with brioche and local micro greens.
I started doing farmer’s markets on the weekend as a way to pay for my increasingly expensive baking hobby. I loved the markets for the 2 years I did them, specifically the community and the connection with customers who raved about the food. I then made the tough decision to shut down my firm and take a year off to attend pastry school in Paris. I took time to travel all of France, Italy, and some of Tanzania and DRC. My goal was to taste as much as I could. I knew if I wanted to make the best tasting desserts, I would have to know what that was. So I sought out the best pastry shops and restaurants and travelled there just to eat. 30 pounds later (not joking), I was back in Vancouver and had to decide what [was] next. I knew I would always regret never trying to start a bakery, so I jumped!
We hungrily wish her the very best as we take a look at some construction shots below…