From the handing off of a Pasadena favorite to chef shuffles at some of the best restaurants in the city, here’s what’s happening in the L.A. food world:
Moving on: Most mornings, Euro Pane bakery can seem like the center of life in Pasadena. There’s often a steady line of customers along the bakery counter, all eyeing the oversize French macarons, giant English muffins, cinnamon rolls and perfectly square lemon bars. And for more than two decades, baker-owner Sumi Chang has been greeting old customers with a smile.
It’s hard to imagine a trip to either Euro Pane location (the original on Colorado Boulevard and the the second location that Chang opened down the street in 2010) without her. But in August, Chang sold the bakery.
“I’m just going to take a day to breathe, I want to read a book,” said Chang, who stayed for a few months to help with the transition. “I just love art, so I’m catching up with the museums.”
Chang moved to the U.S. from Seoul when she was 14, but didn’t immediately enter the world of pastry. She was a nurse in intensive care units before studying pastry with Jim Dodge in San Francisco and at Lenôtre in Paris. She also worked with Nancy Silverton at Campanile, where she was put in charge of breakfast. She opened the first Euro Pane in Pasadena in 1995.
Even though Chang is no longer there, don’t expect anything to look or taste different at Euro Pane. She said she left all her recipes with the bakery’s employees.
Chang still gets up at 3 a.m., but instead of heading into the bakery, she’s working on converting her garage into a test kitchen. She’s enjoying getting more familiar with her sous vide machine, and she’s making her own jam. But because Chang signed a noncompete, she won’t be opening another bakery for the next three years. After that, we can only hope. “Baking is in my DNA,” she said. 950 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 577-1828; 345 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 101, Pasadena, (626) 844-8804.
New on deck: Chefs Walter and Margarita Manzke, the married couple behind République, have promoted Chris Carrillo to chef de cuisine. Carrillo has been working at the French restaurant since before it opened in 2013. Before that, the chef went to the French Culinary Institute in New York City, then moved to Italy for more culinary school and an internship in Venice. Now he oversees the République kitchen and is responsible for writing the daily menu. The Manzkes have also named Sam Rethmeier the new wine director. Before coming to République, Rethmeier ran the wine program at Nocciola in Ojai, and was the floor sommelier at Nancy Silverton’s Chi Spacca. 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 362-6115, republiquela.com.
All the sweets: Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne have named Noubar Yessayan new executive pastry chef of the Lucques Group. Yessayan, who was born in Beirut and attended Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles, is now responsible for the pastry programs at Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, the Larders and Lucques Catering. Before joining the Lucques Group, Yessayan worked at Bastide, Anisette Brasserie and at Maison Giraud. He was recently executive pastry chef of Soho House West Coast. While Yessayan was at Maison Giraud, The Times’ food staff held a croissant taste test in which he was dubbed the croissant king of Los Angeles. thelucquesgroup.com.