Behind the Plate: Chef Taryn Garcia
Joonbug Miami takes a closer look inside the hot new Cours La Reine in Brooklyn, New York with an interview of Chef and Owner Taryn Garcia

Chef Taryn Garcia
Ah, Paris! The city of lights and love! What’s not to love about this city, or the entire country of France for that matter, at least through a foodie’s perspective? The French practically invented cooking! Everything from culinary technique, to the world’s first cooking school, to some of the world’s tastiest treats we still see and eat today. I swear, I could wake up to a freshly baked croissant every morning for the rest of my life and be happy. While we’ve been recently surrounded by modern techniques and new world cuisines, it’s nice to see and learn about chefs that are looking back to the roots of cooking and baking that originated in France. One such chef being, the very talented and very promising, Taryn Garcia of Cours La Reine Bakery in Brooklyn, New York.

Taryn Garcia first began working as a producer on such shows as Barefoot Contessa and Martha Stewart Everyday Food. This led to her transition into food styling and later an education in culinary arts at the French Culinary Institute in New York. She later continued her culinary education in Paris, France and became a Chef de Pâtisserie.  I recently had the pleasure of interviewing her about her art of French baking and her answers just seemed to renew my love of all things French! :

What got you interested in studying pastry arts? : “It was my second trip to Paris and it was a completely different experience. I was there with my husband and was in love. I was surrounded by food and seeing all the artisans and their dedication to their crafts was all just amazing and inspiring.”

Why did you name your bakery ‘Cours La Reine’ after the gardens in Paris? : “To me, the gardens are so unique and they embrace both the past and the present of Paris. It has a long history with the de Medicis family in France. They were actually created by Queen Marie de Medicis, as was the Parisien Macaron which is traced back to Queen Catherine de Medicis’ pastry chef. Cours-la-Reine was where the aristocracy went to find husbands and wives. It was such a regal and beautiful realm of the senses. Now the gardens are open to the public. And to me, pastries are the same way; they're a small luxury that everyone can afford.”


What’s your specialty? : “I specialize in the Parisien Macaron and am starting to incorporate more Petit Fours. I want to eventually showcase different regional Macarons and possibly Champagne Biscuits. I did adopt a ‘purist’ mentality from France towards ingredients. Of all the things I learned in France, the most important was to keep true to form and to respect the process. Substitution of ingredients just simply won’t work. That is why all of my ingredients are from French suppliers, all except the almond flour which is from California.  ”

So what’s in store for Cours La Reine? Will you open shop in Miami? : “So far my Macarons are a big hit! I just recently opened a pop up store at Eva Scrivo Salon in Manhattan. That is open on Fridays and Saturdays. I’ve worked alongside the Happy Hearts Fund which helps orphaned children from national disasters, by donating my Macarons. Now I’m doing an ongoing project with Charity Waters, which helps build water wells in developing countries. Right now I do the Macarons to order and at the pop up store but I would love to open shop in Miami and many other cities as well, like Beverly Hills and Chicago. “

Finally, if you weren’t working as a pastry chef, what would you be doing right now? : “Well I had another career before this and I knew it wasn’t well suited for me. So if I weren’t working in television, I knew I wanted to become a pastry chef. So this is the beginning of a dream that is being realized.”

Joonbug wishes the best of luck to Chef Taryn and her new endeavor! To order some of Chef Taryn’s amazing Parisien Macarons, visit http://www.courslareine.com/