While America’s been busy exporting "luxury brand" Magnolia cupcakes to all manner of far-flung ports, it seems that the French have been planning to bring their own precious pastries Stateside. Crafty, those French. It’s been known for a while that famed Paris-based macaron-maker Maison Ladurée is opening its first U.S. shop at 864 Madison Avenue this summer. Blogger LX-World has some new details on the regal-sounding store that’s been assembled "to look like a private French home," complete with antique upholstered chairs, oil paintings, and fancy bronze lamps. In addition, the blog reports, a tea parlor will open adjacent to the princely macaron showroom. The planned opening date for Ladurée is August 22 26. Ooh la-la, as they say.
In other legendary, French-pastry-dynasty news (this one hints at a possible macaronapocalypse of sorts), Nation’s Restaurant News reports that global food-service giant Sodexo is buying the Paris-based Lenôtre for an undisclosed price. The company (named for the late pastry chef and empire builder Gaston Lenôtre) operates a bunch of pastry shops, six restaurants (including one with three Michelin stars), and a cooking school. Lenôtre’s repertoire of French pastries includes all kinds of macarons; a representative from Sodexo calls the acquisition “a unique opportunity to develop its portfolio of prestige activities in France and internationally.” Because Sodexo operates all over the world, it would seem that Lenôtre, which already has 51 establishments in ten countries, is due for an expansion.
If this is true, we can’t say nobody warned us. Macarons have been on the rise for a few years now; are they about to go really big? If so, will macarons kill the cupcake the same way video killed the radio star? (Probably not, since nothing seems able to usurp cupcakes’ position atop the pastry pile.)