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Macarons, not to be confused with the chewy coconut treat named macarooons, are enjoying a growing success in the U.S., following a trend that their country of origin, France, has also known in the past few years.

As macarons are becoming more permanent a resident on bakery shelves and specialty shops, specialty boutiques are sprouting across the nation. San Francisco has only one macaron-store entirely devoted to the elegant and colorful confection that echoes a bit of France.

So what are macarons and what makes them so popular? To get an answer I visited Chantal Guillon Macarons & Teas, a specialty boutique where I met with owner Chantal Guillon.

I also visited the baking facility and got a personalized demo (click on link for the video) from Chef Erin Emmett of the baking process, and got to meet some macarons-addict coming to get their fix of the French treat.

More About Chantal Guillon: Guillon was about 12 or 13 when she first attempted to bake macarons, with her mother’s help and skills. After living some time in Rome, then again in Paris where she first opened a business importing italian hardware, she then opened an italian restaurant at the heart of the French capital, and several years later decided she was ready for an adventure made in USA.

in 2009, her adventure began in a joint-venture with a macaron boutique, formerly named Paulette. In June 2011, Guillon finally opened her own boutique and her own kitchen – that she shares with her children who have an italian ice-cream business – in SoMa. By doing so, she realized her dream.

Chantal Guillon Macarons & Teas – 437 Hayes Street, San Francisco

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