Photos by Lea Chairesa
Lea Chairesa has long been dreaming of opening her own pastry paradise.
Originally from Sydney, the pâtissier found herself falling in love with Adelaide whilst on the hunt for somewhere to realise her foodie dream.
The Sansarc designed Mascavado was tangible, and in April of this year, the patisserie officially opened its doors.
Like a few other businesses, Chairesa pressed ahead with the launch of Mascavado, despite the international COVID-19 crisis meaning service would initially be takeaway only.
“It has surprisingly been better than any of us could ever imagine,” she says of opening under unprecedented circumstances.
“Since everyone was pretty much working from home, we got a lot of support from the locals,” Chairesa comments.
“If anything, it was a little overwhelming because we pretty much came in with the mindset of an ‘extended soft-opening’ with this whole pandemic situation, but we ended up underestimating the whole thing,” she says.
“We kept selling out of our food and pastries the first couple weeks we opened.”
When Chairesa speaks of the pastries available, it’s easy to understand their popularity.
“I designed the menu to be simple yet exciting,” she says, stating the Mascavado offering definitely takes advantage of local, seasonal produce.
Chairesa talks us through the Viennoiserie first.
At Mascavado, patrons will find plain croissants, pain au chocolate, cinnamon scrolls, and three flavours of danish (currently berry and rosemary, pear and ginger, and an third that changes weekly).
Last on the list of Viennoiserie is the almond and whiskey knot, Chairesa’s take on the ever-salivary almond croissant.
Sweet treats include carrot cake, lemon tart, a chamomile and ricotta cake, and a mascarpone and Moscato filled choux (yes, it’s actual Moscato).
As Chairesa continues through the menu, Mascavado’s uniqueness becomes clear.
“A more I guess ‘adventurous’ option would be the spiced chai blondies and miso cookies,” says Chairesa.
“Yes miso, as in miso soup … the base of that, the fermented soy, is what I use for the cookie. It’s a more in depth umami flavour than your typical salted caramel or dark chocolate and sea salt combo that you often see.”
When asked about her top picks, Chairesa mentions the almond and whiskey knot, and says both the spiced chai blondies and miso cookies “are gonna be your new addiction.”
In terms of savoury, Mascavado offers ham and cheese croissants, triple cheese toasties, Quiche Lorraine and a seasonal mushroom quiche (the mushroom quiche is currently made from porcini mushrooms locally foraged).
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease, and society slowly adjusts to a new normal, Chairesa says she is most looking forward to having customers seated in her shop, perhaps enjoying an almost and whiskey knot.
You can find Mascavado at 175 Hutt St.