A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a Foodie Thursday. One of the places I visited was Paradox Pastry and I liked it so much I have been back several times and am motivated to wax poetic a smidgeon more. Forgive the repetition but…
I had the good fortune to interview Jenny Peterson, for a story about her fantastic wedding cakes for a special wedding issue of VIRGINIA LIVING (Thank you Erin for asking me to do the story.) She is a total riot. I instantly adored her because she shares two of my passions:
1. fitness and health
2. a love of baked goods, particularly sweet things
Jenny is the owner of Paradox Pastry, a European style urban-esqu bakery located in the Glass Building on 2nd Street South East in Charlottesville, Virginia. OK, that’s cool, but here is the kicker: Not only is she a graduate of the prestigious Cordon Blue Pastry School in Paris (That is the BIG one if you are into cooking schools) – get this- she is also a personal trainer! Hahahahahaha! A personal trainer who would reward her clients with decadent baked goods! I LOVE that story!!!!
Thus the Paradox.
Jenny has given up personal training to pursue her love of baking full time. She has been baking special occasion cakes here in Charlottesville for the past eight years, carefully building up her baking business to the point of opening a brick a mortar shop where she encourages people to live like Europeans and hang out, have a coffee and a yummy and actually talk to each other. Yes! talk to each other rather than texting, tweeting or emailing. Like in the olden days before social media.
I totally support this kind of socializing as there is a danger of loosing the art of face-to-face conversation. PLUS there is delicious coffee provided by Shenandoah Joe’s (Decaf French Press is my particular favorite) that you can dress up with real heavy cream (Oh Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about, baby!) and enjoy food like soup, salads, sandwiches or croissants AND of course…
CAKES, COOKIES AND PASTRIES!!!!
Jenny bakes in the European style with real sugar and tons of butter but with a lighter hand with the sweetness than American or German style confections. I prefer this type of treat. In fact, as a student in France, many summers ago, I developed a four -pastry -a -day habit and still lost eight pounds (my theory on the weight loss is because the ingredients were pure – like at Paradox- and I was walking or riding a bike EVERYWHERE). That translates to pastry addiction in some circles, I think.
Special favs are the Almond Pave (described in an upcoming VL article coming out in Jan.) and the Chocolate Decadence Cookie but the Virginia Peanut Butter Mousse is pretty darned good too only you should probably share it because it is VERY rich. All of the aforementioned delights are Gluten Free and there are several more GF selections on the menu that should please those of us who live that lifestyle. The other baked goods look scrumptious too. As I write this, I am becoming delirious with the apply cinnamony aroma of the Jewish Apple Cake that is baking in the open kitchen at Paradox – I bet heaven smells like this sometimes. Mmmmmm.
There is also Gingerbread for the season and although it is glutenous, Jenny has agreed to experiment with a GF version which I am more than happy to taste test. Which brings up another thing I like about Jenny- she has an immutable “can-do” attitude which, I know will help to make her venture a success.
So even though, I know you would like to hear more about Paradox, Jenny and the goodies offered here, I am inspired and must sign off so I can do some “other” work and be a successful mom, writer, charity event planner, etc. …..while eating my slice of Almond Pave. I suggest you visit Paradox Pastry to discover your own latest pastry obsession.