Happy summertime in Los Angeles, time to head to the beach, eat even more gelato than usual, load your kitchen counters with Santa Rosa plums — and bake pies with the flats of peaches and berries that you're doubtless bringing home from the farmers markets. And because nothing inspires a session of pie-making quite like pictures of amazing pastry and baskets of fruit, we thought we'd follow up our list of Top 10 Los Angeles Chefs to Follow on Instagram with a dessert edition of a dozen of our favorite people who've been posting some pretty amazing pictures of what they've been up to in pastry kitchens and bakeries around town.
John Park may not have opened Quenelle, his ice cream and pastry shop in Burbank, yet -he will in the next week or two — but you can check out what's to come on his Instagram account. A veteran of Lukshon, Providence and Water Grill, Park has been having a lot of fun playing with popsicles — and unloading stuff off of trucks. Good thing he has a serious supply of desserts in his freezer.
11. Joans on Third:
If you've spent any time at all in Joan's on Third, you'll know there's a whole lot of pretty things to take pictures of in the store itself, so it's hardly a surprise that such aesthetics translate to lots of terrific photos. Pastries, fruit, sandwiches, bread, ice cream — and, in this case, interestingly adulterated ice cream cones.
10. Roxana Jullapat
The Cook's County pastry chef spends a lot of time at her local farmers markets as well as baking myriad lovely things at the restaurant she and Daniel Mattern own and operate in midtown. Check out her photos of cherry puffs, fruit and vegetable snack breads, cream pies and lots of market fruit. Fun, inspirational — and very, very appetizing. And then maybe go eat breakfast at her restaurant.
Annie Miler's bakery-café has been a great place to hang out, eat and buy outstanding pastries for more than a decade now — last year she opened a second location in Beverly Hills — which fact you can see documented in Clementine's fun Instagram feed. Check out the pies and salads, the strawberry cupcakes and the stellar salad Niçoise — and, if you want seasonal inspiration, the pretty great flag cake above.
8. Zoe Nathan
The baker, a title she prefers to pastry chef, at Huckleberry — among other restaurants — has a serious display case in her Santa Monica bakery, but the one on her Instagram feed is pretty impressive too. Check out this birthday cake (congratulations, Josh!), as well as photo after photo of tarts, pies, cookies, fruit and not a few of her seriously adorable kid.
Pastry chef Karen Hatfield has been making some of the best plated desserts in this town for years at Hatfield's, but since she and husband Quinn opened Sycamore Kitchen, you can get pastries and breads and sandwiches all day long too. Follow them on Instagram and check out the cookies and Kouign Amann, the tarts and meringue pies, the biscuits — and chefs and their cool chef outfits.
6. Proof Bakery
Pastry chef Na Young Ma has been making some pretty awesome tarts, pastries and sandwiches in her tiny Atwater Village shop since it opened in November of 2010 — ample proof (haha) of which can be found on the bakery's Instagram feed. Also meringues, dogs and Hula hoops! Ma, who is from Glendale, has created a bakery with a truly neighborhood feel. Sit in her little café, have one of the remarkable croissants and a cup of Handsome coffee — and maybe look at some pictures of what you're having for breakfast.
Since she opened her Pasadena pastry shop last December, Danielle Keene has been making cakes and cookies — and posting pictures of a fair number of them on Instagram, a beautiful catalog of fancy layer cakes and hilarious cookies (mustaches!) and fanciful cupcakes. And then there are also the ice creams and pastries and the baskets of fruit that often go into them.
4. Short Cake
The folks at Short Cake in the Original Farmers Market at Fairfax have a pretty stunning pastry case out front of their little shop. But their Instagram feed is just as gorgeous: repeating photos of pastries and coffee, fruit and tarts, sometimes fully baked and ready, sometimes in medias res. Very, very fun — although not so much if you haven't eaten breakfast.
3. Red Bread
Rose Lawrence has been bringing her breads and pastries to the Santa Monica farmers market for awhile now, and soon she'll be opening her first bakery in Culver City — billed as a social justice organic kitchen. You get to call your bakery that if you start out not in pastry kitchens but studying human rights law. Check out Lawrence's photos of rising baguettes — and smashed jam like a contemporary art installation.
Valerie Gordon and her crew, who opened Valerie Confections in 2004, recently opened a charming little café in Grand Central Market downtown, and they have another location coming to Echo Park next month. You can track a lot of the contents of these various projects on their Instagram feed, from biscuit-making to just-baked tarts to candid shots of various people enjoying all this lovely stuff — also rhubarb, chocolate and, of all things, shots of jellyfish.
When Jessica Koslow opened Sqirl, her very tiny, very adorable café in Echo Park last year, one thing that a lot of people marveled at was how so much insanely cool and delicious stuff could get jammed into such a small space. Jammed, as in lots of hipsters in a closet. Jammed, as in ALL THAT GLORIOUS JAM. Well, you might say the same thing about Squirl's Instagram feed. The photos of the pies alone are worth the follow.
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