bake - June 2018 - 32
32 < JUN 2018 | bakemag.com
A true gem in San Francisco, b. patisserie serves the tastiest kouign
amann one can ever imagine. Chef and co-owner Belinda Leong
crafted her recipe through years of dedication to perfection. Flaky
on the outside. Soft on the inside. A perfect balance of textures.
"I love ingredients that give texture," Leong once told bake.
"Feuilletine, raw sugar, puffed grains, nuts. I bake and create
with all my feeling. Baking is up and down due to many factors,
so when there are many varying factors, my dough changes or
my baking can change. Therefore I always bake everything with
feeling and make changes along the way every day."
Years of hard work have paid off now with great recognition.
Leong and Michel Suas were announced on May 7 as the 2018
recipients of the coveted James Beard Foundation's Outstanding
Baker award. They were among many winners announced at the
gala in Chicago. The duo is a multiple-time nominee for the award.
Leong began her career as a pastry chef at Restaurant Gary Danko
in San Francisco in 1999. After eight successful years, she left the
restaurant for Europe to stage at some of the most esteemed
restaurants and patisseries in Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen.
After two years in Europe, she returned to the Bay Area and
became pastry chef at Manresa Restaurant, a two-star Michelin
restaurant in Los Gatos, before opening b. patisserie with Suas,
founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute.
In San Francisco, b. patisserie showcases the combination of
Leong's extreme talent with Suas' vast knowledge and expertise. The bakery is regarded as a star on the culinary scene in the
In 2005, Leong's constant quest for knowledge led her to the San
Francisco Baking Institute where she took a class and brieﬂy met
Suas. Years later they would meet again when Leong came back
from Europe with the idea of opening b. patisserie. She sought
advice and direction from Suas. In 2011, with hopes for b. patisserie lingering, Leong became the head pastry chef at Manresa.
While at Manresa, she decided to introduce her pastries to the
public through pop-ups and partnerships with select coffee
The success of her pop-ups encouraged Leong to focus solely
on b. patisserie. Leong and Suas kept in close contact and soon
decided to become partners. In 2012 a permanent location for b.
patisserie was chosen. The bakery has since expanded to include
T H E Q U E E N O F KO U I G N A M A N N