I had an opportunity to speak with Chef Lila about the launch of Brulee Bakery, a new Main Line Philadelphia, PA bakery that delivers to your door. Brulee Bakery offers a large variety of sweet and savory baked goods – everything from croissants & quiche to cakes and tarts and yes… cupcakes, too.
1) Tell us about Brulee Bakery. When did it start? What was your inspiration?
I graduated culinary school and had a great job as the Pastry Chef for Wolfgang Puck Catering. After being injured in an auto accident a few months ago, I was unable to stand for long periods of time and keep up the hectic schedule and long hours required when working for a high volume caterer. So this is when I decided that in order to really continue to create in the way that I wanted to I would have to open my own business. This was always my long term goal, but I guess this was the universe kind of pushing me to do this sooner. My inspiration is fresh, seasonal flavors and incorporating traditional French techniques with my own spin on flavor profiles.
2) Philadelphia bakeries featuring cupcakes & cookies are all the rage these days, tell us what will set Brulee Bakery apart from all the others?
Brulee Bakery is different in many ways from your average cupcake or cookie bakery. First, I am the “Anti-cupcake”. I see the allure of cupcakes; they are cute, small, remind you of your childhood and all that. And I see how they can be blank canvases for many flavors, however I feel that they are overdone.
What sets us apart: Brulee Bakery uses the highest quality, local, farm-fresh and organic ingredients to give our customers a unique flavor experience. For example, we use whole wheat flour in all of our pastries so even though you are eating a dessert, you are still adding whole grains into your diet (and you would never know the difference taste-wise). And by using ingredients grown right here in our local area, we are supporting our community and our farmers while using the freshest eggs, dairy and fruit available.
As for what we offer that is different from other bakeries in the area – we will offer some old stand-by’s like a chocolate chip cookie, but it will have Valrhona Chocolate chunks, with organic pecans, and whole wheat flour. We will also have fancier desserts such as an Almond Elderflower Cake with a lime zest glaze – this one is gluten free for people with those sensitivities.
We also are mostly internet based for now until we can get a brick and mortar location. So we deliver pastries right to your home or office!
3) Tell us more about your culinary background.
I went to the French Culinary Institute in NYC. Being from Philly with my husband and house here…I commuted back and forth to NY a few times per week for school. I have worked for The Food Network and also have interned at a few prestigious restaurants around Philly such as Buddakan and 10 Arts at the Ritz. Then I was hired to work for Wolfgang Puck.
4) Besides ordering online, where else can we find your baked treats in Philadelphia?
I am currently working out the details of this, but other than online, we are looking to appear at different Farmers Markets in the area. Stay tuned for details on that. I will offer online ordering for mail order in the whole US in the future, but for right now, I will be focusing on delivery and catering in the local Philly area.
5) When you’re not baking, where do you like to eat? What are your favorite Philadelphia restaurants & why?
When I’m not baking? I think I am pretty much ALWAYS baking…but when my husband and I go out to eat I absolutely LOVE Silk City…they have what I like to call ‘elevated pub grub’. And for really haute cuisine I love JAMES in South Philly (which is unfortunately now closed). Every detail in their food is well thought out and amazingly executed. Not to mention their service is phenomenal.
Check out what Chef Lila has to offer on the newly launched, but in progress Brulee Bakery website. I can vouch for the deliciousness of her goods. I received samples of the spiked cinnamon pecan sticky buns & Valrhona chocolate chip cookies and they were exquisite.
Are you someone in the local Philadelphia food scene who would like to be featured in a future interview? Drop me an email with some info.