Chef News

Eugenia Theodosopoulos of Essence Bakery Cafe on Her New Phoenix Location and Her Awesome Lime Green Stand Mixer, Arnault

Page 2 of 3

See also: Essence Bakery's Raspberry Rose Macaron: Get One Right Now

For years you've been able to head to Tempe's Essence Bakery to taste a little piece of Paris.

And not just some amateur's version of French pastry -- a 100 percent authentic French croissant, baked fresh every morning just the way chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos learned from her mentor, master baker Jean-Louis Clément.

In addition to being known for those near-perfect pillows of dough, Essence has earned a reputation as a favorite spot for a light, healthy breakfast, brunch, or lunch. Serving dishes like individually sized quiche Lorraine along with Greek spanakopita and a delicious lemon basil and chicken salad, the ever-busy café has flourished.

So years ago, when Essence fans found out Theodosopoulos and her husband and partner, Gilles Combes, were looking at a second location in Central Phoenix, to say people were excited is putting it mildly. Back then the neighborhood around 40th Street and Indian School was just beginning to become a hot spot of the local food scene, but these days, it's easily one of the fastest-developing areas (at least, food-wise) in the Valley.

Alas, the wait would be a long one. The restaurant opened a few weeks ago and has been packed since the start.

"We already have regulars," Theodosopoulos says with a smile as she finishes greeting a pair of them.

Of course, some have followed her (and her food) from the Tempe location, but it's an impressive feat nonetheless.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria