From Prosecco to Plaid: Has your passion always been baking?
Taryn Garcia: I think passion for me has come from many influences that have arrived at different times in my life. I've always loved cooking and baking. I grew up around great cooks, like my mom and grandmother. My grandmother is French and loved baking cakes and cookies. There was always something sweet to eat around the house.
P to P: How did Vendôme come about?
TG: Vendôme Pâtisserie: Haute Parisien Macarons started on a wing and a prayer. My husband and I flew to Paris for me to look into various pastry arts programs. ESCF Ferrandi the school I ended up attending recommended going to Pierre Herme. We went and fell in love with the macarons. They were amazing. I knew that macarons would be a hit in New York and also knew the only place they could be learned how to master was in Paris. So we moved abroad and I embarked on the most intensive training of my life! My Chef Professor was formally a pastry chef at the Hotel Ritz so his expectations of us were high to say the least.
P to P: What is your favorite macaron flavor that you make?
TG: It's always changing, I love so many flavors! I have a very seasonally inspired palate, so right now I'm loving the blood orange macaron. If I had to pick a constant favorite I'd say Dark Chocolate with Pearls. I adore all things crunchy.
P to P: What is the most popular?
TG: It varies from person to person. Some people are more classically inclined and want Tahitian Vanilla and Chocolate, while others are more adventurous and will choose Black Perigord Truffle with Roasted Chestnuts or Campari with Pamplemousse (pink grapefruit).
P to P: Where can people purchase your delicious and beautiful macarons?
TG: I actually don't sell the macarons on my website. They don't ship well and are best eaten fresh. I have a POP-UP Pâtisserie that I host every weekend in Brooklyn and we're also in Saks Fifth Avenue on the 8th floor at Charbonnel and Walker.
P to P: What did you do before Vendôme?
TG: Prior to my career as a Pastry Chef and starting Vendôme, I worked in television at the Food Network as an Associate Producer and Food Stylist on Barefoot Contessa and Healthy Appetite. It was really fun. Ina Garten, she too had changed career paths; I found her a great inspiration plus she's incredibly intelligent, witty and a wonderful cook.
P to P: What is something about yourself that no one would ever guess?
TG: Wow, that's an interesting question. I pray, which isn't to say I'm spiritual; it's just that I need it and find that when I do it helps make the day a bit easier.
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