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Eddy and Jonny
and the journey to the perfect sfogliatelle

We first did a story about Eddy (Edwina) Peoples and Jonny Pisanelli last year drawing to the attention of the Adelaide public that the terrific Gilles Street Market pointing out that the market didn’t just have great new and vintage fashion but also had some pretty good food as well. We especially liked From Scratch Patisserie and the Gosleme which are just the best.
Eddy and Jonny both have full time daytime jobs but have a little business called From Scratch Patisserie. The name to a chef or cook is an immediate indication of passion with a good proportion of pain. It means no short cuts, basically no cheating and it means a commitment to the roots of the recipe and how it should be properly made. Very often it means going to the genesis of that recipe, a quest that often receives as much ridicule for the obsession as it does admiration for the final achievement. People with budgets and set profits in mind find it peculiar, ridiculous that someone might be willing to invest so many years in a life apprenticeship without any real guarantee that there is a pot of gold at the end of that journey. Yet, it is just that obsession that gives us the world’s best restaurants and patisseries and fills the kitchens of these establishments with willing unpaid slaves, there for the privilege of learning what the master knows. The Chinese culture seems to have understood this journey since time began, the worth of the master and the advantage of being the recipient of their wisdom and it in the rest of the world it is a long held tradition. It is a practice less common in Australia and to some extent due to the ’insurance’ factor. It must be said those protégés frequently earn that honoured place by being more determined that most and keep that place only by being more talented and hard working than average.
A year ago when we first spoke to Eddy and Jonny it was a struggle to keep up with their rapid–fire questions intermingled with a conversation as to where they hoped they might be in a few years time. Their enthusiasm was palpable and remains so today, more so if that is believable. These are young people who have time on their side and unlike a restaurant or business that must quickly swim or sink they can support their passion and take the time to learn. I love my mobile phone for two unrelated reasons. It allows me to instantly offer proof to a supplier of the quality they have sent and demand, without argument refund or replacement and the second less useful but more enjoyable is the sharing of the experience with like minded persons travelling on the other side of the globe. Their texted images chronicle their culinary journey, their progress in the world of food. It was images from Eddy and Jonny from Pierre Hermé Paris master patisserie and Fauchon and Ladurée my excitement grew because I knew they were on the next stage of their journey.
Jonny, with the help of his Italian grandparents took an estage at Bianchini Guido one of Benevento’s most famous paticceria bars. For a month he worked without pay in their cellar kitchen with their demanding 60–year–old master patisserie and his assistant a woman of just 35 who was responsible for the finishing and detailing. Their team work apparent, Jonny immediately understood the miracle of the skill that makes a zillion (or so of something) perfect every time. Cutting the croissant dough to a faultless100g was challenging enough, but even though she appeared not to ever concentrate on what she was doing, her hands proved otherwise, as she rolled them perfectly challenging Jonny to cut faster and keep up with her. Women are more common in the kitchens of Italy than France but even today there are more female patissiers than there are chefs.
At the end of the month Eddy flew to Rome to meet Jonny and they travelled north to attend the massive Coffee Gelati Pastry Expo in Milan. Both have a traveller’s eye for regaling a tale and it is my intention to buy them both a journal before they next travel. Jonny a Southern Italian by birth heritage with insight immediately noted that just two hours out of Napoli the cuisine had started to change and that the further north they went the more modern it became. He noted how stuck southern Italian patisserie is in the late fifties with its offering of choux and puff pastry, ice cream and coffee, but even then he was amazed that some of these now commonplace Italian patisserie items have not made it into the Australian Italian coffee culture.

from left — Jonny at Pierre Hermé and right their gorgeous sfogliatelle — imagesabove and immediately right, lemon meringue tarts, copyright © Edwina Peoples 2010, other images copyright © Ann Oliver 2010

Don’t know what a sfogliatlle is click here if for nothing else but to understand the work that is involved in making them!

In Milan at the fair the agent for Bravo machines, the type of ice cream machine that every decent chef in the world would own where it not for the massive price tag, noted their youth (and probably their beauty) and their passion and enquired as to where they were headed next. “Paris? When?” Food and fate frequently hold hands and as it happened this angel of providence was in Paris at the same time as them. The offer to be collected and taken with a small group of potential clients into the kitchens of Pierre Hermé, Fauchon and Ladurée seemed like a miracle and in their excitement it was only when they returned to their hotel that they realised it was the same day they had booked and paid $1000 each for a macaroon course in Paris. Not even knowing if they could change the date the unanimously agreed if need be they would forfeit the money for the privilege of entrée to France’s, and the worlds most famous patisseries. That’s truly obsessed and perhaps one of the great things about their business partnership. They luckily have found a business partner who gets it, shares the work, shares the shit but most importantly shares the joy!
Both have noted the unique touches that separate the iconic stores from the rest. The exquisite packaging for the purchase of just two macaroons. The black and pink of Fauchon; the black box that opens to the fuchsia pink tissue and my most favourite of all pastries the Napoleon, the exquisite melt of the tongue puff pastry, sponge. It is a tradition only really practiced by Haigh’s chocolates in Australia. Despite all my protestations that my two, (liar four), weekly chocolate allowance will be gone before I reach the door, they still package them perfectly.
The change in the offering from since their journey is obvious. The macaroons are without doubt better than anything in Adelaide, thin crusted, soft centred they are exquisite. Their sfogliatelle, a Sicilian concoction shaped like a shell with multi–layered pastry and a ricotta filling has advanced in excellence. They are better by a long way than the par–bake frozen ones sold in Adelaide but a smidgen away from being as good as the ones they used to have made for them at NANO until the woman could no longer satisfy the demand. From Scratch’s fruit studded ricotta filling is superb and the layered pastry has a good crunch but they are still just ever so slightly tough lacking that soft but crisp, break–apart flakiness when you bite into them. To my absolute delight my picky Genovese friend enjoying the conversation, thinking for a second he might have been at someone’s home had taken a sfogliatelle and to our astonishment eaten it in an eye blink. “You going to pay for that mate?” we asked. “Yes it was worth it, very good!” High praise indeed, from the man who terrorises Adelaide’s Italian restaurants with blunt uncomplimentary criticism.

The December 08 Apicius magazine (image bottom left) has a great article about Pierre Hermé and even a fab recipe for black truffle macaroon — we have applied the recipe with great succes to other flavours. This isue is out of stock at Ecotel but you can buy issue two for $36 (almost half price) and a third edition out soon — we’ll keep you posted! I'm addicted to these magazines and it’s all too long a wait between issues — click here for the review

Apicius international edition
published by Montagud Editores S.A, Spain
available by subscription in Australia from ecotel Adelaide email or telephone +61 8 8410 3633

the people behind Galaxy Guidesfood editor and publisher
Ann Oliver

champagne editor
Kaaren Palmer


Jan Bowman
Political comentator, briliant photographer…farmers’s market obsessed…Brisbane based.

Olivia Stratton Makris
Masters of Gastronomy, NYC, Spain and constant assistance and editorial suggestion…Adelaide based.

Michael Martin…Northern America 2016.Photographic assistance Kym Martin…Adelaide based.

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copyright © text, recipes and images Ann Oliver & Kaaren Palmer 2016.