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Feb 20, 2009 11:00 AM

Behind the scenes at Boston's best bakeries, etc.

My sister, who holds a pastry chef's degree, will be in town next month for a weekend visit. Since she's never been to Boston, I'd like to take her on a quick tour of the city - but not just any tour, rather one that's tailored to her interests in all things pastry, sweets, etc. Currently she's working as a baker in a specialty bread shop, but she'd like to get into more specialized desserts and I want to share with her a sense of the opportunities for pastry chefs in a city like Boston.

I've already made reservations for afternoon tea at the Mandarin Oriental as a starting point, but I'm looking for a little more hands-on action at some of the local bakeries, chocolatiers or restaurants, something along the lines of a class or behind-the-scenes tour. We'll be out and about on a Friday. Nothing too large-scale, I'm not looking for a factory tour. To offer more direction, I'm already considering Flour, Chocolee Chocolates, South End Buttery, LA Burdick's and the like. I know this is a bit of a tall order, so I'd appreciate any thoughts or recs anyone has to offer.


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  1. You should definitely call or e-mail these places and explain to them that you'd like your sister to be able to get "backstage". You haven't mentioned Petsi Pies but Renee McLeod is a warm woman with a generous spirit and I'd be very surprised if she didn't welcome such a visit. Another possibility is Truly Jorg's in Saugus, because the owner is a Swiss-trained pastry chef. The bakery sells smaller cakes and individual pastries but also makes elaborate wedding cakes. That style of baking is not as common in the Boston area as in other large cities.

    1. Vicky Lee's in Belmont is nice and the owner is a character

      1. Lee Napoli at Chocolee on Pembroke Street in the South End is a former Pastry Chef and a sweetheart of a person. Yes, I know about the pun...

        1. Taza in Cambridge would be awesome, as would Sofra.

          1. both sofra ( and barbara lynch's stir ( classes. it may be worthwhile to check their websites to see what they are offering in the dessert/pastry vein. though your sis holds a degree, it would be a good way for her to get to meet a couple high profile chefs in boston in a small group setting.