Forthcoming Bakery Plus Holiday Pies From Mindy Segal
Lovers of dessert are in for an epic treat when acclaimed, James Beard-lauded pastry chef Mindy Segal opens a new 6,000 square foot bakery in Logan Square next summer. The concept rings true to her pastry roots, naturally, but it marks a departure as well from the plated desserts she's come to be renowned for at HotChocolate in Bucktown. Wherein her revered restaurant traffics in elegant and elaborate presentations, this next chapter focuses on classic bakery items, albeit utterly masterful and refined.
Segal's confectionary career is as colorful and storied as her legenary dessert work. After honing her chops at some of the country's top restaurants, including Spago, Charlie Trotter's, and mk The Restaurant, the burgeoning pastry talent went out on her own, christening a full-fledged restaurant in HotChocolate in 2005. Although the restaurant serves incredible brunch, lunch, and dinner fare, it's no surprise that it came to be most known for Segal's desserts, hot chocolates, milkshakes, and other confections. After being nominated for James Beard's "Outstanding Pastry Chef in the Country" award for five years, she finally took home the prize in 2012, breaking the "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" pattern once and for all. And speaking of which, she also got married this year, which played a small part in the inspiration for her next project. While honeymooning in Paris, she swooned over the pastries and decided she wanted to open something in that vein back home in Chicago. Lucky for all of us who can't afford to jet off to Paris on a whim...
Whereas HotChocolate is undoubtedly a restaurant, her as-yet-unnamed bakery will specialize in house-baked breads, cookies, and the like, all housed in a 6,000 square foot space along Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. France serves as the overarching inspiration, but guests can expect a sense of homey Americana comfort as well (see: cookies galore).
(Apple pie, Mindy Segal-style)
The bakery is slated to open summer 2014. In the interim, since summer is unfortunately still several months away, Segal shares a couple recipes for pies that utterly reimagine traditional dessert offerings. For all your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Thanksgivukkah needs, try out her sweet potato pie with roasted marshmallows, and/or her heirloom apple confit pie with pork fat crust. This should hopefully help tide you over until next summer.