Food Glorious Food

By: Craig Chapman

Plenty of great new restaurants have marched into our food scene this year, adding incredible flavors to the palate of Brevard. These new businesses have created a beautiful kaleidoscope of culinary options, which means we don’t have to travel far to get what we crave now.

This year, I specifically wanted to feature a few of the many ways Brevard is further involved in the amazing world of food. When the food culture of an area grows beyond your normal sit-down restaurant into a way of life, you know that food has become a true passion of its residents.

We welcome the following three new culinary gems to Brevard. Their successes reinforce that we have the passion to learn more about food through trying new meals and we truly have a thriving food culture in this county.

On the sweeter sides of things, House of Pastel is bringing in grown-up macaroons, and the Donut Shack is adding some sweet creativity to the world of coffee and donuts. As we continue to re-connect and learn how to cook again in our own kitchens, the Gathering Table is offering hands-on classes to the community to help us out. Now, let’s eat….

House of Pastel

HIGH ON MACAROONS

Macaroons are magical little pastries: light, delicate, individual and packed with flavor. It’s no wonder Lilly Jensen, owner of House of Pastel in downtown Cocoa, fell in love with them the first time she made a batch. “I’ve always had a passion for pastry, and once I began studying the art, macaroons just stuck out to me. They are small, cute and delicate, and require patience and skill to master. I’ve been in love since my first batch,” Jensen explained.

What’s more is the variety of flavors she can pack into these tiny pastry powerhouses. We’ve tried Jensen’s — everything from earl grey to toasted coconut to rose — and all are amazing! She says this list of different varieties could go on and on at her shop. “Some flavors are just staples and others are based on flavor profiles I’ve become accustomed to over the years being a pastry chef. Sometimes, it just comes down to experimentation. Within the shop, the guest favorites are currently jasmine and honey pollen, strawberry basil, lavender and our house-made Nutella.”

Classically served as a French tea pastry, macaroons are no easy morsel to make. There certainly must be some simple words of advice from Jensen to get it right, right? She gives in just a little, saying, “Well I don’t want to give away any secrets! But, seriously, it comes down to expertly managing the temperature of your oven, as well as accounting for details like humidity and the grain of your our. Even the best pastry chef in the world can be foiled by an oven that isn’t consistent.” Baking wannabes, take note.

For those of us who aren’t up for the macaroon baking challenge, we are thankful to have Jensen and the House of Pastel in our county now. You can taste her passion and unending desire to make the perfect macaroon in every bite. She even admits to her obsession, noting, “In terms of making the perfect macaroon, I want to have perfectly developed ‘feet,’ which is the textured edge at the bottom of the cookie, as well as a perfect eggshell delicacy and crispness on the top of the cookie.” We are all happily benefactors to Jensen’s cause, one small, delicate bite at a time.


House of Pastel

218 Brevard Ave., Cocoa, FL 32922

tel 321 735 2013

houseofpastel.co@houseofpastel