What do you get when you pair the culinary aspirations of a seasoned baker with a Parisian confection and desire “to harmonize people, families and cultures”? You get Charlette Bell, Macaronista and founder of My Fare Lady Macarons. At a recent tasting, I had an opportunity to learn a little about the Pastry Chef and the inspiration which makes her macarons appealing.
I have to admit that, when I learned about the event, I was pretty excited. I adore macarons and the passion that goes into making them. I realize these aren’t the easiest “cookies” to make so, when someone does it well enough to turn it into a career, it’s a pretty big deal.
While our taste buds were being tempted by a colorful display of fragrant macarons, Chef Bell shared her back story.
Her entry into the professional culinary world started the way many entrepreneurs enter into various businesses; there was a departure from a day job. Her next steps led her to culinary school. Although she baked years before attending, this education provided her with the whys and hows of baking. Eventually, the use of macarons came into the picture. They used the shells as a garnish for other pastry creations but for Chef Bell, this little addition was just the beginning of something greater.
She looked deeper into the French treat and eventually, her interest evolved into My Fare Lady Macarons. Working with only the finest and freshest ingredients, and a heaping spoonful of patience, Chef Bell perfected her own macaron recipe.
Fast forward to the tasting event…
The obvious benefit of attending a tasting is the inevitable enjoyment of something new and delicious. It was hard work a wonderful guilty pleasure to have been able to sample seven of Chef Bell’s nicely paired macaron flavors. We started with Pistachio, a classic macaron filled with Pistachio butter créme. The filling reminded me of the first time I sampled a nut butter fresh from the grinder. It was creamy and just sweet enough to satisfy.
Next up was Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. It’s a vanilla bean macaron filled with bourbon vanilla bean créme. This one carried the essence of the homemade ice cream my parents made when I was a kid.
We moved on to Chocolate Mocha which is a favorite of Chef Bell. It’s a cocoa macaron filled with espresso mocha ganache. If you’re going to replace a box of chocolates with some other chocolate, I’m thinking this would work well.
I’m going to admit that I’m a Red Velvet Cake snob because I’m so stuck on my own. Home cooks and bakers alike have specialties that will cause them to side eye other people’s attempts at their signature dish. Red Velvet Cake is mine. However, I’ve never met a Red Velvet Macaron I didn’t like, because… well, I’ve never met one. Until now. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredibly over the moon and back I am about this because it was Fantastic! It’s a cocoa macaron filled with white chocolate cream cheese & pecan. Yes, it sounds good and tastes great! This macaron is my first favorite.
Up next was the cutest little cast iron skillet ever with a Peach Cobbler Macaron waiting patiently to be devoured. This one was filled with a spiced peach créme. The color and flavor of nutmeg made this one feel like Autumn in a bite. It’s a special flavor because it’s a nod to one of Chef Bell’s greatest inspirations, her grandmother. Charlette recalled memories of her Sweet Potato Pie and Peach Cobbler and the time she spent perfecting her own skills as a baker. Her grandmother not only provided feedback but, when the time was right, her grandmother allowed her to take over baking desserts during the holidays. What an incredible honor that had to be!
The sixth macaron is the one that broke my resolve. I can’t even begin to make you understand how Salty, Sweet and wonderfully Sinful it was. Salted Caramel has been done so many ways I couldn’t have imagined that a dollop of it between two meringue shells would make me turn my head. But it did. The vanilla macaron is filled with butter caramel and fleur de Sel. A single bite reveals a crave-inducing balance of sweet creamy caramel and savory little nips of salt. This one is my other favorite. Oh, sure I can have two faves!
The final taste was Red Wine Dark Chocolate, a cocoa macaron filled with an Apothic Dark Red Wine ganache. Sounds rich doesn’t it? It was. This one was Flavor of the Month for February.
It seems like quite the indulgence to have consumed such delicacies but the real treat was in the message and mission Chef Bell conveyed during the brief time we spent with her.
She used an analogy to liken macarons to people. She said that the one thing that makes us all the same is that we are human. Likewise, all of the confections I mentioned above are macarons. Each macaron is unique just like we are as humans. Like the macarons described above, everyone has their own special something going on in the middle. Macarons don’t mind hanging out in a box together. Neither should we as humans.
“to harmonize people, families and cultures”
I respect Chef Bell’s pursuits and sometime in the near future, I hope to find myself sitting in the brick and mortar of her dreams. She wants a nice quaint little place that feels like you’ve walked in from Atlanta into a little European Bake Shop. I can totally see it happening.
For more information on My Fare Lady Macarons
Disclosure: The My Fare Lady Macarons Tasting was complimentary. I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are based on my own personal experience. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here.