The highly talented young pastry chef Léonie Guillemot has set up shop in the former Hospice Pachéco. That means you can enjoy her treats al fresco, the weather permitting.
Togâ: a delicious pleasure
Brussels has seen a wave of French pastry chefs in exile. Among others, there is Brian Joyeux (the king of the Kugelhopf), who earned his stripes in luxury hotels in Paris, and the excellent Anna Le Saux (Hermine Pâtisserie), a star who used to work at La Villa Lorraine. But there are also gems further underground, who have less visibility. Léonie Guillemot (28) is one such talent. She has established her premises in the former Hospice Pachéco. This 7,000m² space, which became a listed building in 1997, has for more than a year been put to great use as a temporary home. Spread over two floors, the place is shared by offices and businesses of all kinds.
Finding Togâ, the name Léonie gave to her cake shop, is like navigating an obstacle course. It is well worth the effort, even if the premises are not much to look at. At a sliding window that opens onto a crude shopfloor, your order is taken by Léonie, whose expertise is the result of training at the hotel school in Thonon and apprenticeships at La Maison du Chocolat and with the chocolatier Pierre Marcolini. The young woman is also well-travelled and even spent time working in cocoa farms in Mexico.
A small menu showcases Léonie's dedication to good-quality ingredients
To the right of the window, the day's menu of sweet treats is written on a blackboard. When we visited, it consisted of walnut, white chocolate, and raisin cookie (€2.50), blackcurrant and lemon “jacqueleine” (€3), apple and pear tarte tatin (€4.50), and lemon and basil tartlet (€4.50). A small selection that showcases her dedication to good-quality ingredients (flour from Moulin de Hollange, fruit from Den Diepen Boomgaard, and chocolate from Chocolaterie Robert, a producer that is part of the “tree-to-bar” movement).
Léonie also uses sugar in moderation, which we were able to fully appreciate while enjoying a blackcurrant “jacqueleine” at one of the tables in the gardens of the old hospice. Similar to a madeleine, this spongy invention with an intense flavour of blackcurrant invites you to forget the city around you. “A delicious pleasure had invaded me, isolated me, without my having any notion as to its cause. It had immediately made the vicissitudes of life unimportant to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…”, as Marcel Proust would say.
Grootgodshuisstraat 7 rue du Grand Hospice, Brussel/Bruxelles, 0472-10.89.14, Instagram: @toga.patisserie
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