July 2013

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play with your food Simple Sips Be patriotic this July By Karen Eigenberger La Baguette's love affair with the perfect pastry By Michael and Jean Muckian You could call it a labor of love. Recipes all over the Internet will tell you it takes anywhere from 35 minutes to three hours to prepare pain au chocolat. But French baker Olivier Vigy will say nothing within that range is long enough to render a perfect chocolate-filled croissants. The baker, who with his wife Carine owns La Baguette on Madison's west side, views the popular French pastry as a twoday affair, the process for which stretches over some 15 hours. In the end, the flaky pastry with the dark chocolate filling is worth the wait and the work. Olivier, who learned to bake in his native France, first prepares the dough he will need for the next day's batch, letting it rest overnight in the refrigerator. The next day the dough is rolled out on a dough sheeter to precise specifications— not too thick, not too thin—for the perfect pain au chocolat. Fresh butter is applied, giving the pastry its characteristic richness and layers of paper-thin crispness. The finished dough is formed and then folded around dark chocolate, which becomes its rich, flavorful filling as the croissants bake in the oven. Then, voilà! The pain au chocolat is ready for the new day's customers. 70 BRAVA Magazine July 2013 The Vigys, originally from Coulommiers in France's Seine-et-Marne region, opened their first La Baguette 11 years ago in Minocqua, a northern Wisconsin vacation community. Carine's mother was from nearby Manitowish Waters and her father from France, and the Vigys had vacationed there before. In search of a more consistent economy they relocated La Baguette to Madison four years ago. Olivier produces a dozen other sweets, including a tasty Tarte aux Noix, or nut tart, and the Baba au Rhum, a brioche served in rich rum syrup. He also bakes 14 different types of breads, and serves breakfast and lunch, but he is justifiably proud of his pain au chocolat. He expects a lively trade on Bastille Day— July 14—which commemorates the start of the French Revolution. It's a good day to celebrate with pain au chocolat, he says. But then again, any day is good for that. Michael and Jean Muckian have covered the local food and arts scenes for more than 25 and 15 years, respectively. Find them online at the Culturosity blog on A few favorite sipping picks this month: Fiddlehead Cellars: Kathy Joseph's sustainable Oregon winery creates expressive Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines. Try her Happy Canyon Sauvignon Blanc ($25), a bright, elegant white to please you all summer. Stoller Wines: Young Melissa Burr's Oregon winery produces the Stoller SV Estate Pinot Noir ($25) with fleshy, ripe, dark berry flavors perfect for any summer fare; and the Reserve Chardonnay Dundee ($24) with luscious lemon, caramel and citrus melted together. Cheers! Karen Eigenberger is partner at STEVE'S Wine-Beer-Spirits on Mineral Point Road. Visit Photo by Sarah Maughan Vive le Pain au Chocolat! Drink red, drink white, stay true blue to women winemakers in the U.S.! Only 9.8 percent of California's wineries have main or lead winemakers who are women. What's wrong with this picture? We women love wine, yet aren't equally represented in this field. In general, women have more acute palates than men. Women have sensitive taste buds, as well as an enhanced ability to discriminate aromas and remember wine flavors. Let's face it— we were "born with the gift!" So let's toast female American winemakers! Select wines to sip this month that honor the women in this demanding, yet rewarding (for all of us) profession. A few women-led wineries: Anne Amie Vineyards Chehalem Gallo Family Vineyards La Crema Marcassin Merry Edwards Winery Pahlmeyer Ponzi Vineyards Siduri Simi Winery Sokol Blosser Stag's Leap Wine Cellars

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