Pastry chef Hyemin Torroll serves, prepares macaroons and Korean bingsu ice cream at her Le Café Eblouir in Gretna | Food and drink | Weekly Gambit

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Hyemin Torroll always loved cooking growing up outside of Seoul, South Korea, but she never worked in a professional culinary position until she came to the United States. Torroll had a degree in public administration. When she decided to try cooking, she moved to New Orleans. Her first job was a pastry job at the Hotel Monteleone. She has since studied in the culinary program at Delgado Community College and worked in the pastry departments at the Ritz-Carlton, Royal Sonesta and Hyatt Regency. During the pandemic, she opened her own bakery, Le Café Eblouir, which means “to dazzle” in French. The cafe and bakery are open daily at 2112 Belle Chasse Highway, Gretna. Find information on lecafeeblouir.com and @kindcakesbyhyemin on Instagram.

Gambit: Why did you open a bakery?

Hyemin Torroll: I wanted to be a savory chef. But the only kitchen job I could find was a baker job. So I started cooking and I liked it.

I have been in the hotel industry in the pastry department for 16 years. I have a family and always missed weekends and holidays and whenever there were big events. My ultimate goal was to have my own shop, but I thought I would in 10 years. When Covid arrived I was home for a while, and it was a scary time. Nobody wanted to open during the lockdown, but I opened the shop and we did pretty well.

Gambit: What do you like doing at Dazzle?

Torroll: In a hotel you can get almost everything. There are desserts, cakes, bread and pastries. It is difficult to find everything in a single bakery, especially refined desserts. But my plan was to open a one-stop shop where you can get coffee, desserts, slices of cake, bread, and even wedding cakes and party catering. That’s what I did. We are also a cafe. You can get premium coffee. We receive roasted coffee beans from a local vendor. We have sweet and savory pastries. We make wedding cakes. It’s a bit unique. I don’t think many places do everything.

I spend a lot of time making wedding cakes. I usually give people the option of choosing two or three flavors. Strawberry shortcake is the most popular flavor. We call it chiffon cake. I also make matcha and Earl Gray flavored cakes.

We also do tiramisu and cheesecake. The puffs are like cream puffs, but with cookie dough on top, so it’s soft and crispy at the same time.

I love making macaroons. It’s almost therapeutic to make them. You can make them in rainbow colors. We have many flavors. There are six to eight flavors each week and many are seasonal. Right now, we’re making cotton candy and pistachios. I’m about to start making pumpkin pie (macaroons). You can specially order them in shapes like little pigs or bears.

I try to do more savory options, like salads and sandwiches. We have savory quiches and croissants like ham and cheese croissants and egg and cheese croissants.

Gambit: what is bingsu?

Torroll: Bingsu is Korean shaved ice. It’s like a snowball, but made with milk. Then we add fresh fruit on top, like mango, watermelon or strawberry. In New Orleans, everyone loves snowballs. I do the Korean version. I have a special machine. It’s not crushed ice. It is a texture like snow. It’s very soft. The base for making snow is milk and condensed or matcha flavored milk. I don’t think anyone else in New Orleans has bingsu.

Prepare to be surprised as you turn onto Orange Street, a quiet side street in the Lower Garden District tucked away next to Tchoupitoulas.

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