Back in November, the New York TImes got all excited about a pastry that was just making a big splash in this country, mentioning Oakland's Starter Bakery, LA's Bouchon and Dominique Ansel's Soho bakery as places to get the rare and difficult Breton pastry.
Food & Wine declared it the "pastry of the year" for 2012.
Last year, we mysteriously received a box of kouign aman from Williams-Sonoma–they were nice, but it seemed weird because Salt Lake City has had a bakery making superb kouign-aman for nine years, way before anyone else in the country. Romina Rasmussen at Les Madeleines makes hundreds of kouign amans a week.
Now we have two places in town making the crunchy caramelized pastry–Matt Caputo recently hired a baker, Lya Becnel, who worked at Fresco and Les Madeleines before training at Cordon Bleu in London, who is making kouign aman for Caputo's deli.
So we're a lucky city. For my money, Romina is still the queen of kouign–hers have a lightness and crunch that I haven't tasted yet in Lya's pastry. And when you're paying $5 or $6 bucks for a treat, you want the best. On the other hand, Romina has had a lot of practice; she's probably baked more kouign amans than most bakers in the country.
Anyway, there's no excuse not to include this lauded sweet on Mom's breakfast in bed tray this Mother's Day–even if she lives out of town. Les Madeleines ships them all over the place. Go here.
Les Madeleines, 216 E. 500 South, 801.355.2294