When Sarah Mispagel, pastry chef and co-owner of the new Loaf Lounge, received a DM asking if she’d like to help with the filming of an upcoming TV show in Chicago, she jumped at the chance to raise some cash. extra for her. launch of the restaurant. She couldn’t expect her to become a key part of the bearone of the hottest TV shows of 2022 – and certainly the best placed to showcase the work of a master baker.
“A friend of a friend reached out to me and said he was looking for someone with serious restaurant experience but knowledgeable about cakes and donuts,” says Mispagel. “By then things had gotten really serious with The Loaf Lounge, and we were trying to get investors together, so I was doing anything for money. I was like, ‘I bet it pays, I’ll do it!’ I saw it so carefully as something I had to do to achieve my dream.
Mispagel’s hard work has paid off, with the Loaf Lounge, an all-day cafe and sandwich shop, officially opening this month at 2934 N. Milwaukee Ave. Loaf Lounge is co-owned by Mispagel and her husband Ben Lustbader (a chef-owner of Géant and Spécial du Chef).
“Loaf Lounge is a collaboration of the food we love to eat and love to make,” says Mispagel. “It’s very accessible, with everyday dishes made by people who know how to cook very well. It’s a nice little corner of the neighborhood where everyone feels comfortable and everyone finds something they like.
For Mispagel, his work with the bear involved working remotely as well as a few days on set, where she was on hand to help the props department reset between takes.
“It was honestly pretty amazing to watch,” she says. “The first take they did definitely gave me real anxiety in the kitchen. It was hard to resist the urge to jump on set and start trying to bail people out, or at least throw a Sharpie to the chef! It was unbelievably real.
Mispagel says the props team nailed the experience of what it’s like to work in a kitchen – something she has a lot of experience in herself, having worked as a pastry chef in restaurants. Chicago icons such as mk, Nightwood and Sepia.
“I really enjoyed looking around the set and storage areas at the props that Laure Roeper, the show’s prop guy, had picked out, and even without knowing where they fit, I felt like they had nailed some things,” she said. “I saw the Noma cookbooks and the bottle of Fernet in the props waiting area, and laughed to myself. They are very on-the-nose chef props, so I enjoyed looking at the show to look up these items and look for other carefully curated accessories that I might have missed when I was there.
The show’s attention to detail has paid off, with chefs around the world – including Mispagel herself – hailing it as one of the most accurate depictions of the restaurant industry in the world. history of television.
“It captured the stress and the way many chefs are totally dedicated to their work,” says Mispagel. “Cooking work is exhausting, intense, mostly thankless, not very remunerative and a real labor of love. It’s hard to explain the nuances of it to people who have never been involved, and I think that it was well captured. It’s amazing, and I feel so lucky to have been the least part of something that people love so much.”
For your own taste of the bear at home, skip the spaghetti and make Chef Mipgel’s very own Pine Nut Coffee Cake recipe.
“This recipe can be easily modified to use whatever people have around,” says Mispagel. “Various nuts can be replaced with pine nuts in the crumble, and frozen blueberries or a jam ribbon are a good idea.”
For the cake
- 470 g fresh cream
- 100g eggs
- 10g vanilla paste
- 230g butter
- 400g sugar
- 4g salt
- 450g AP flour
- 10 g baking powder
- 115g pine nuts
- 100g light brown sugar
For garnish :
Toast the pine nuts in the oven for 6 min at 350°F. Cool and cut in a food processor with the brown sugar until the mixture is just crumbly enough.
For the cake:
1.Whisk eggs, crème fraîche and salt together in a bowl. Cream the butter, sugar, and salt together, then add the mixture to the butter concoction, paddling together. Sift dry three times and add 3 additions.
2. Line a cake tin with parchment paper, adding half the batter. Then top with half of the filling, then the rest of the dough and the rest of the filling. Bake at 350°F until golden, cake pulling away slightly from pans. It should bounce back when touched.
3. Have fun – Carmie’s signature white t-shirt and apron are encouraged, but not required.
This article was published in the Inside Hook Chicago newsletter. Join now to learn more about Windy City.