On a rainy Saturday morning, I sat with my kids enjoying flaky croissants over chai latte and babychinos. My three-year old absently nibbled on the layers of pastry on my plate, some of the 27 laminated layers in the fresh-made chocolate croissants and Viennese style breakfast pastries at Dream Cuisine. It is some of the best French-style patisserie breakfast food I have eaten. Only later do I realize that our visit coincided with the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Dream Cuisine is a labour of love for mother and son team Marilyn Chalkley and Owen Saddler. Marilyn was inspired after a visit to France to recreate some of the sweet treats she loved. Owen implements the vision through trial and error. He explained that as he had not been trained as a pastry chef, he didn’t know that within the industry there was an accepted way of doing things. “What happens if we do this?” is his mantra.
Owen gets excited by flavour, especially clean flavours that linger on the palate. His aim is to create memorable food experiences, that can transform a humdrum existence and leave you feeling that your day just got a whole lot better.
One of Dream Cuisine’s secrets is its use of organic flour. “Most bakers don’t like organic flour because it is too variable,” said Owen. He admits his technique took a lot of experimenting to get right. He also incorporates hand-churned butter from the Myrtleford Butter Factory, going through 60kg a week. He prefers that butter as owner Naomi Ingleton is dedicated to quality, and even travelled to visit a Swedish Butter Viking and the makers of Beurre d’Échiré butter in western France on a Churchill Fellowship.
Dream Cuisine’s croissants and breakfast pastries are made fresh daily, using old fashioned equipment out the back of an old paint warehouse around the corner from Bunnings in Fyshwick. The tiny room is heavily air-conditioned to ensure the butter in the pastry remains at the right temperate. Unlike most bakeries, Dream Cuisine does not pre-make and freeze. “You lose that crispy upper layer in the laminated croissant,” explained Owen. “The butter soaks into the dough while it freezes, and the result is closer to a brioche. You also have to add more yeast to the croissant if you are freezing it.”
Dream Cuisine incorporates other high-grade ingredients, such as 55% cocoa chocolate in its chocolate croissants and naturally dried sultanas in its Viennese breakfast snails. Oh, and it also makes macarons in beautiful pastel colours that are a delight to look at and melt in the mouth when tasted. And quiches and sausage rolls. But that is about it. Its range is small but it makes up for it with quality.
Dream Cuisine is at 9/18 Whyalla St, Fyshwick. It also has a presence at The Hamlet, Lonsdale St Braddon, and retail at the Capital Region Farmers Markets.