Friday, November 5, 2010

VANCOUVER SLOP: STEEVE RAYE PASTRY


Steeve Raye Pastry
If there's any pressure in following a family legacy, Steeve Raye isn't showing it.  Raye's parents are local institutions, having run La Regalade, the West Vancouver bistro, for what seems like an eternity, where Raye has also served as pastry chef and for which he had also opened the short-lived offshoot, La Regalade Cote Mer.  Instead, Raye seems downright cheerful, despite the fact that I've shown up before 8:30 on the first Saturday morning since their opening.  The man is brimming, and - on our second visit the following afternoon - seemingly everywhere: making pastries with his colleagues in the back, running up to the till to take our order, bringing our croissants (and brioches... and apple tarts...) to our table.  Anxiety doesn't seem to fit into the equation anywhere.

When one enters La Regalade, attention is drawn immediately to the array of pastries and desserts that face the door.  This visual deathgrip also finds a home at Steeve Raye Pastry, with the entire display case filled with all manner of wonder, both savoury and sweet: breads, brioches, cakes, tartes, macarons... it takes a concerted effort to look away.  If pastries are indeed your thing - and if you've read this far, they surely must be - the impact is much like what I assume Charlie must have felt upon entering Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, albeit one that is much more indebted to the French and a heavier dose of starch and carbohydrates.

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