There are two species of cooks: those who have baking down to a science, and those who are absolutely flummoxed by anything that has to do with measurements, piping, spring form pans or docking. Jen Bush, who just opened Lucky's Bakehouse and Creamery, in Boulder, is the former, a pedigreed pastry chef, who created confections at the Bitter Bar and owned her own company, Ice Box Bakery, also in Boulder, before joining Bo Sharon, who owns Lucky's Market and Lucky's Cafe, in a new bakery endeavor that will make sugar fiends (and their savory counterparts) spin round and round.
The north Boulder bakehouse and creamery, which began serving pastries and cakes, croissants and sticky buns, ice cream and sorbet, cookies and doughnuts, quiches and tarts, scones and cream puffs and caramel brownies and puddings last week, is a Shangri-La of sugar, a place whee moderation is obliterated by case after case of temptations -- and despite a quiet opening, Boulderites are already ten-deep at the counter.
And Bush, whose desserts were called "seriously rich" by Gourmet magazine, is enjoying every minute of being on stage in her open display kitchen, where baking gadgets and equipment line the wired shelves, flour flies off her long, wooden prep table and the scent of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls wafts through the air. "I never really enjoyed the business side of things when I had my own company, and I've worked in a lot of small kitchens -- and in basements -- so I love having a big, open kitchen so I can interact and connect with people," says Bush, whose marvels include several vegan and gluten-free options.
"I have a natural foods background, and we're using all-natural ingredients, most of which are local and organic," she adds, noting that her shop is the "farm-to-table of pastry." And given that Lucky's Market, which follows the same food philosophies, is just across the parking lot from the bake shop, Bush has access to fresh vegetables for her savory creations, which, last week, included a red onion tart and a zucchini quiche.
She says, too, that as the bakery evolves, she'll continue to increase her savory selections. "As we all get trained and up to speed, we'll definitely expand our savory options, and the goal is to eventually start doing lunch sandwiches and English muffin sandwiches for breakfast," she says.
In the meantime, there's no shortage of sweets -- and all of Bush's creations are scratch-made, including the all-organic ice creams and sorbets. "I wanted to do things that are pretty to look at, and, more important, good to eat, but we don't want to take ourselves too seriously -- we don't want to be snotty -- so we're doing things that people are familiar with and just elevating them and taking them up a notch," she says, while shaking her head in disbelief at the Friday afternoon romp that keeps swinging through the doors.
"I had no idea we were going to open up to this kind of crowd. We've had a constant stream of people that hasn't stopped," says Bush. "We're literally blown away by the response."
When I interviewed Bush on Friday, I also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with her beautiful pastries, the photos of which are on the following pages.
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Lucky's Bakehouse and Creamery is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily; for more info, call 720-596-4905.